1803 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

H. Welker, "To Mr. H. K. White" 1803 ca.; White, Remains, ed. Southey (1807) 1:266-67.



Hark! 'tis some sprite who sweeps a fun'ral knell
For Dermody no more. That fitful tone
From Eolus' wild harp alone can swell,
Or Chatterton assumes the lyre unknown.
No, list again! 'tis Bateman's fatal sigh
Swells with the breeze, and dies upon the stream;
'Tis Margaret mourns, as swift she rushes by,
Roused by the demons from adulterous dream.
Oh, say, sweet youth! what genius fires thy soul?
The same which tuned the frantic nervous strain
To the wild harp of Collins? — By the pole,
Or 'mid the seraphim and heav'nly train,
Taught Milton everlasting secrets to unfold,
To sing Hell's flaming gulf, or Heav'n high arch'd with gold?