1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Robert Southey, in A Vision of Judgement (1821) 42-43.



Here too, early lost and deplored, were the youths whom the Muses
Mark'd for themselves at birth, and with dews from Castalia sprinkled:
Chatterton first, (for not to his affectionate spirit
Could the act of madness innate for guilt be accounted:)
Marvellous boy, whose antique songs and unhappy story
Shall, by gentle hearts, be in mournful memory cherish'd
Long as thy ancient towers endure, and the rocks of St. Vincent,
Bristol! my birth-place dear. What though I have chosen a dwelling
Far away, and my grave shall not be found by the stranger
Under thy sacred care, nathless in love and in duty
Still am I bound to thee, and by many a deep recollection!
City of elder days, I know how largely I owe thee;
Nor least for the hope and the strength that I gather'd in boyhood,
While on Chatterton musing, I fancied his spirit was with me
In the haunts which he loved upon earth. 'Twas a joy in my vision
When I beheld his face ....