1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Jones

John Scott of Amwell, "On the ingenious Mr. Jones's elegant Translations and Imitations of the Eastern Poetry, and his Resolution to decline translating the Persian Poets" Poetical Works (1782) 332-33.



The Asian Muse, a Stranger fair!
Becomes at length Britannia's care;
And HAFIZ' lays, and SADI'S strains,
Resound along our Thames's plains.
They sing not all of streams and bowers,
Or banquet scenes, or social hours;
Nor all of Beauty's blooming charms,
Or War's rude fields, or feats of arms;
But Freedom's lofty notes sincere,
And Virtue's moral love severe.
But ah! they sing for us no more!
The scarcely-tasted pleasure's o'er!
For He, the Bard whose tuneful art
Can best their varied themes impart—
For He, alas! the task declines;
And Taste, at loss irreparable, repines.