1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Sterling

Thomas Dermody, "Sonnet to the Rev. Mr. Sterling" Dermody, Poems (1792) 78.



Spirit of Spencer, from thy fairy wild,
Inspire, while glowing with unusual flame,
I cull each flow'r, by WINTER undefil'd
And teach the woodland Echo, STERLING's name.
STERLING, whose wand can break old DULLNESS' spell,
With pow'rs of verse, the rugged carle assail,
Lead the wrapt Thought to Inspirations cell,
And finish Chivalry's heroic tale,
Where, whilom CHAUCER's self, and THOU, sweet Sprite did'st sail!

Whether the sonnet, feelingly he weaves,
Collecting all the secret flower's of rhime,
Or, bursting thro' a bow'r of laurel-leaves,
Snatches of Epic pomp the trump sublime,
The MUSE admires — Long may his sapient hand,
Melodious, strike the full-responsive chord,
Long may he seize the sweets of FAIRY-LAND;
And all the bliss poetic plains afford,—
Long may he melt the eye, and reign the bosom's lord!