1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Roscoe

Bernard Barton, "To William Roscoe, Esq." Barton, Poems (1818) 116-17.



When first, like a child building houses with cards,
I mimick'd the labours of loftier bards;
Though the fabrics I built felt each breath that came near,
Thy smiles taught me hope, and thy praise banished fear.
Thou didst not reprove with an Aristrarch's pride;
Or unfeelingly chill, or uncandidly chide;
It was not in thy nature with scorn to regard
The fresh-breathing hopes of an untutor'd Bard.
Thou knewest, whether Fame crown'd his efforts or not,
That his love of the Muse might enliven his lot;
That Poesy acts like a magical charm;
And in seasons of care it can silently calm.
It might win him no wealth, yet its treasure would add
To the store of his mind, what would make the heart glad;
That the feelings and thoughts its enchantments can cherish,
Are too precious, too pure, and too lofty to perish.
Then accept of my thanks! they are justly thy due:—
And forgive me for seeking once more to renew
A claim pronounc'd sacred, with being begun,
By the Father once own'd, and bequeath'd to the Son.