1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Clara Reeve, "To the Author of Sympathy" in Pratt, Miscellanies (1785) 1:ix-x.



What son of Phoebus strikes the heavenly lyre?
With sweetest strains of Nature, and of art,
What sounds that sacred harmony inspire,
Strike on the ear, and vib'rate thro' the heart?
While this new candidate for virtuous fame,
Like a coy lover, hides the secret flame,
Enjoys the plaudits, and conceals his name?

Hear'st thou, my Clio? — Heav'n-descended Muse
Let not this laurel'd Chief remain unknown;
Tho' modest merit shou'd the praise refuse,
Assert thy Poet, and his temples crown;
O! should a lay like this be sung in vain?
Or shou'd the sweetest swan conceal'd remain,
While many a goose loud gabbles o'er the plain?

Within each gen'rous heart, his song enshrin'd,
Shall rouse the social passions to a tear;
Shall wake to Sympathy each feeling mind,
And blend Love's rosy smile with Pity's tear.
Then, Clio, tell with pride thy Poet's name,
Freed from the fears of Envy's dart or blame,
And let th' admiring world — thy Bard proclaim.