1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Parsons

Hester Thrale Piozzi, "To Wm. Parsons Esq." Florence Miscellany (1785) 43-44.



While Venus inspires, and such verses you sing
As Prior might envy and praise;
While MERRY can mount on the eagle's wide wing,
Or melt in the nightingale's lays:
On the beautiful banks of this classical stream
While BERTIE can carelessly rove,
Dividing his hours and varying his theme
With Philosophy, Friendship, and Love.

In vain all the beauties of Nature or Art,
To rouse my tranquility tried;
Too often said I has this languishing heart
For the charms of celebrity sigh'd:
Now sooth'd by soft Musick's seducing delights,
With reciprocal tenderness blest;
No more will I pant for poetical flights,
Or let vanity rob me of rest.

The Slave and the Wrestlers, what are they to me!
From plots and contention remov'd;
And Job with still less satisfaction I see,
When I think on the pains I have prov'd.
It was thus that I thought in oblivion to drown
Each thought from remembrance that flows,
Thus Fancy was stagnant I honestly own,
But I call'd that stagnation repose.

Now wak'd by my Country-man's voice once again
To enjoyment of pleasures long past,
Her powers elastic the soul shall regain,
And recal her original taste:
Like the loadstone which long lay conceal'd in the earth
Among metals that glitter'd around,
Inactive her talents, and only call'd forth
When the ore correspondent was found.