1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Sheridan

Samuel Jackson Pratt, "A Reply to the Verses of Mrs. Sheridan to her Brother's Lyre" London Chronicle (15 February 1785) 158.



This said, a solemn silence breath'd around,
Cecilia wept upon her Lycid's lyre;
The pensive breeze then gave a sighing sound,
And the strings seem'd to tremble and expire.

One hollow murmur, like the dying moan,
Was heard to vibrate then with pauses slow,
From the sad instrument, when thus the tone
Gave modulations of a softer woe.

"Cease, beauteous mourner, partner of my grief!
Tuneful associate of my last despair!
Thou, only thou, can'st bring this breast relief;
Thy sympathy alone can soothe my care.

"What tho' — ah! stroke severe! — our Lycid's dead,
No more, alas! can ravish mortal ear;
What tho' the soul of melody is fled,
His blest attendant to th' harmonious sphere;

"Struck by Cecilia's hand I yet may live;
Her magick touch again can tune my frame,
Her cherub voice my spirit yet revive,
And sounds of heav'nly sorrow grace my fame.

"But should nor dulcet song, nor music's art,
Nor social sighs, which mourn the youth we love,
Have power to heal the sister's wounded heart,
Nor to these chords forlorn a solace prove;

"Ah! still together let our sorrows join,
And this sad form yet boast thy gentle aid;
Lycid's companion sure should still be thine,
Still should'st thou kiss the strings where he has play'd."