1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Georgius, in "Poetic Ambition" Poetical Magazine 4 (1810-11) 209.



O Chatterton! by native genius taught,
Thy ripen'd judgment and superior thought
Matur'd the song; and hoary heads in vain
Shall strive to emulate thy youthful strain.
Unhappy Bard! ere lusty manhood spread
Meridian splendor on thy hapless head,
Stern Fate had seal'd th' irrevocable doom,
And swept thy rip'ning glories to the tomb!
What living lyre the world's applause shall gain,
When Nature, Art, and Genius strove in vain?
What son of Song in merit dare confide,
When Chatterton neglected liv'd and dy'd?
Stung to the soul, he spurn'd inglorious breath,
And brav'd the pangs of an untimely death.
Behold him cast a hopeless eye around,
And dash th' empoison'd phial on the ground!
His bursting eyeballs shoot a ghastly glare;
He breathes his last, expiring in despair.