1775 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Jones

R. W. Lytton, "To Sir William Jones" 1775; The Monthly Magazine 7 (July 1799) 480.



Friend of my heart, companion of my youth,
As fam'd for learning as rever'd for truth;
In whom united we alike admire
The sage's wisdom, and the poet's fire;
A gen'rous temper, and a noble mind,
Ardour undamp'd, and genius unconfin'd;
Well-skill'd to tread the scientific maze,
Skilful alike to raise the lofty song,
Or playful sport the flow'ry reeds among;
The smiling muse has taught thee all her art
To catch the fancy, and to seize the heart.
To form thy wreath, from ev'ry clime she brings
Each choicest product whence it native springs.
See her obsequious bring, at thy command,
Sweet Khoten's musk, and gems of Samarcand,
Each fragrant shrub from fam'd Bocara's grove,
Sacred alike to poetry and love.
This known to all; but words can ill impart
The cheering features of thy friendly heart.
Oh may our friendship, form'd in this dark cell,
Where "deathful spirits and magicians dwell,"
To time superior, firmly rooted, brave
The gloomy sea and dragon-teeming wave;
"Purg'd in that wave, and rendered still more bright,
For ever blaze amid surrounding light!"