1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Headley

Thomas Park, "On reading Sickness, an Elegy by the late Mr. Headley, Editor of the Beauties of the Ancient English Poets" Poetical Register for 1806-07 (1811) 176.



Child of the classic muse! whose generous toil
Hath many a blossom to the rapt sight shown,
Which else had slumber'd mid an adverse soil,
By weeds encumber'd or neglect o'ergrown:
Ah! why from hence hast thou so early flown?
Could Sickness find no less lamented prey?
Or, like the cygnet's, did thy sad note moan
To melt us with its own funereal lay?—
Yet hapless youth, thy spirit hath not fled
Without the meed of some melodious tear;
A bard* who lov'd thee living, weeps thee dead,
And breathes his soul's warm incense o'er thy bier:
For which, when death shall close his dulcet song,
May requiems like his own, his kindred fame prolong!

* The Rev. W. L. Bowles, late of Trinity-College, Oxford, published an Elegiac poem on the death of Mr. Headley.