1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Russell

William Lisle Bowles, in Elegy written at the Hot-Wells, Bristol (1791) 6-8.



Perhaps to these grey rocks and mazy springs
Some heart may come, warm'd with the purest fire;
For whom bright Fancy plumes her radiant wings,
And warbling Muses wake the lonely lyre. . .

Such was lamented RUSSEL'S hapless doom,
The lost companion of my youth's gay prime;
Ev'n so he sunk unwept into the tomb,
And o'er his head clos'd the dark gulph of time!

Hither he came, a wan and weary guest,
A softening balm for many a wound to crave;
And woo'd the sunshine to his aching breast,
Which now seems smiling on his verdant grave!

He heard the whispering winds that now I hear,
As, boding much, along these hills he past;
Yet ah! how mournful did they meet his ear
On that sad morn he heard them for the last!

So sinks the scene, like a departed dream,
Since late we sojourn'd blythe in WYKEHAM'S bow'rs,
Or heard the merry bells by Isis' stream,
And thought our way was strew'd with fairy flow'rs!

Of those with whom we play'd upon the lawn
Of early life, in the fresh morning, play'd,
Alas! how many, since that vernal dawn,
Like thee, poor RUSSEL, in the ground are laid.

As pleas'd awhile they wander'd hand in hand,
Once led by friendship on the spring-tide plain,
How oft did Fancy wake her transports bland,
And on the lids the starting tear detain!

I yet survive, now musing other song
Than that which early sooth'd my thoughtless years;
Thinking how days and hours have pass'd along,
Mark'd by much pleasure some, and some by tears!