1775 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Beattie

Thomas Blacklock, "To Dr. Beattie. With the Author's Poems" 1775 ca.; Poems (1793) 190.



O, warm'd by inspiration's brightest fire,
For whom the muses string their fav'rite lyre,
Tho' with superior genius blest, yet deign
A kind reception to my humbler strain.

When florid youth impell'd, and fortune smil'd,
The vocal art my languid hours beguil'd:
Severer studies now my life engage;
Researches dull, that quench poetic rage;

From morn to ev'ning destin'd to explore
Th' verbal critic and the scholiast's lore;
Alas! what beam of heav'nly ardor shines
In musty lexicons and school divines?

Yet to the darling object of my heart,
A short, but pleasing retrospect I dart;
Revolve the labours of the tuneful quire,
And what I cannot imitate, admire.

O could my thoughts with all thy spirit glow;
As thine harmonious, could my accents flow;
Then, with approving ear, might'st thou attend,
Nor in a Blacklock blush to own a friend.