1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Seward

Margaret Holford, in "Ode to Time" 1802; Poems (1811) 28-30.



Direct thy glance beyond life's fragile hour,
Oh Seward! lov'd of the Aonian Nine!
On thy full gaze bid all the future pour,
And raptur'd, see the admiring future thine!
See laurels bloom thy shadowy brow to wreathe,
Hear Bards, yet uncreate, an awful tribute breathe!

For not to thee, with niggard hand, assign'd
The transient triumph of some local strain:
Thine, the proud empire of the enthusiast mind,
Thine, the fine chords which swell to pleasing pain;
To joy's tumultuous throb, to mystic fear,
To friendship's bosom glow, or pity's hallow'd tear!

Lo! where the oral Muse of former time
By thee invok'd, in gothic state descends,
With potent hand awakes the runic rhyme,
And the thick veil of dark oblivion rends!
See from the tomb the fateful weapons wave!
Oh cease the mutter'd rite! respect the secret grave!

To drop soft dews on beauty's wither'd flower,
From the full breast to urge the slow-heav'd sigh,
Or bid descend the tributary shower
To wet the turf where worth and valour lie,
Snatch Fame's bright banner from the grasp of Time,
O'er the illustrious dead to wave its folds sublime....