1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Bruce

William Wordsworth to an unknown correspondent, 21 April 1819; Letters of the Wordsworth Family, ed. Knight (1907) 3:403-04.



But to recur to the proposal in your letter. I would readily assist, according to my means, in erecting a monument to the poet Chatterton, who, with transcending genius, was cut off while he was yet a boy in years. This, could he have anticipated the tribute, might have soothed his troubled spirit, as an expression of general belief in the existence of those powers which he was too impatient and too proud to develop. At all events, it might prove an awful and a profitable warning, and I should also be glad to see a monument erected on the banks of Lochleven to the memory of the innocent and tender-hearted Michael Bruce, who, after a short life spent in poverty and obscurity, was called away too early to leave behind him more than a few trustworthy promises of pure affection and unvitiated imagination.