1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

Anonymous, "To William Mason, M.A. on the 72d Anniversary of his Birth-Day" Monthly Chronicle (20 March 1797).



MASON, thou stand'st a melancholy sign
How the high mind by time may be debas'd!—
Thy Lyre of FREEDOM erst thy fingers trac'd
Full ton'd, and struck with energy divine!
Of Kings, in Asiatic dream supine,
Senates corrupt, and Ministers disgrac'd
By foul Venality; of Pow'r ill plac'd,
Us'd for Oppression, sung thy nervous Line.
The trembling Pallinode of palsied Age
A pitying smile had paid — perhaps a sigh;
But, from the PEOPLE'S FRIEND when thy weak rage
Would tear his honours — sacrilegiously,
To deck the Idol of the Venal throng,
VIRTUE laments, that "THOU HAST LIV'D TOO LONG."