1790 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Polwhele

Hugh Downman, "To the Rev. R. Polwhele, on seeing his plan for a History of Devonshire, 1790" Polwhele, Poems (1791) 222.



O'er barren Ground, my Friend, thou tak'st thy Way,
Where scarcely blows a solitary Flower;
Not in these Haunts obscure the Muses stray,
Nor here hath Fancy rais'd her Myrtle Bower.
Yet, should Encouragement with gentle Voice
Bid thee amid the desart Rocks proceed,
Should liberal Candour sanctify thy Choice,
And mark each Step, her smile the promised Meed,
Thou wilt not shrink; for GENIUS early taught
To stoop beneath chaste Reason's Sway austere,
The undissipated Soul with LEARNING fraught,
Can change their Subject; Firmly persevere;
And scorning Obstacles a Victory gain
Where labouring Dulness still would plod in vain.