1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Robert Potter, "Sonnet. To the Author of Sympathy, a Poem" London Courant (25 August 1781).



On Scar's lov'd banks, a stream unknown to fame,
That wildly winds this tangled dell along,
Where oft I feel the Muse's hallow'd flame,
And glow enraptur'd with her Attic song;

And oft her aweful, high-wrought strains recall,
As o'er the stage in tragic robe she sweeps,
With terror fraught the shuddering soul t' appall,
Whilst Pity, soften'd with her sorrows, weeps;

For Avon's Bard this chaplet let me twine,
Culling one branch from her immortal wreath;
For, tender Bard, empassion'd heart is thine,
And thoughts that warm from social feeling breathe.

Vivid and bright as thy ideas glow,
Thy magic verse th' enlivening flame imparts;
From thee to us the strong emotions flow,
And, ere aware, we feel them in our hearts.

E'en those, who read but to amuse the hour,
Catch from thy page sensations more refin'd;
And, sweet enthusiast, wonder at thy pow'r,
Which so expands their souls to all mankind.

Go then, in Virtue's cause the passions move,
And SELF to gen'rous-glowing SOCIAL raise:
Be this thy meed, The good and wise approve,
And BEATTIE'S sanction ratifies the praise.
Scarning, Aug. 16, 1781.