1793 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Ogilvie

Thomas Blacklock, "To the Rev. Dr. Ogilvie" Poems (1793) 191-92.



Dear to the Muses and their tuneful train,
Whom, long pursu'd, I scarce at last regain;
Why should'st thou wonder, if, when life declines,
His antiquated lyre thy friend resigns.
Haply, when youth elate with native force,
Or emulation fires the generous horse,
He bounds, he springs, each nerve elastic strains,
And if not victor, some distinction gains;
But should the careless master of the steed,
Cherish no more his mettle, or his speed,
Indignantly he shuns all future strife,
And wastes in indolent regret his life.
Such were his efforts, such his cold reward,
Whom once thy partial tongue pronounc'd a bard;
Excursive, on the gentle gales of spring,
He rov'd, whilst favour imp'd his timid wing:
Exhausted genius now no more inspires,
But mourns abortive hopes and faded fires;
The short-liv'd wreath, which once his temples grac'd,
Fades at the sickly breath of squeamish taste;
Whilst darker days his fainting flames immure
In chearless gloom and winter premature.
But thou, my friend, whom higher omens lead,
Bold to atchieve, and mighty to succeed,
For whom fresh laurels, in eternal bloom,
Impregnate heav'n and earth with rich perfume;
Pursue thy destin'd course, assert thy fame;
Ev'n Providence shall vindicate thy claim;
Ev'n nature's wreck, resounding thro' thy lays,
Shall in its final crash proclaim thy praise.