1739 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Waller

Anonymous, "To a young Lady with Waller's Poems" London Magazine 8 (March 1739) 147.



Tho' Phoebus' self his much-lov'd poet crown'd,
Tho' Britain smil'd — yet Sacharissa frown'd;
Hard-hearted maid, whom Waller cou'd not move,
Waller who taught e'en savages to love!
But whilst you read in Waller's tuneful strains,
Of Sachcarissa's beauty, and his pains,
Let soft compassion move you whilst you read,
Think, as like her you shine, like him I bleed.
O! did your charms but equally inspire,
Both with the lover's and the poet's fire,
My verse should flow harmonious as your song,
And be like you the praise of ev'ry tongue;
Each happy line should like your wit surprize,
Shou'd glow with all the lustre of your eyes;
And like your spotless fame, each faultless line
Should laugh at all the little rage of time.
But my weak verse in vain attempts your praise,
(A—'s beauties claim a Waller's lays)
For tho' awhile I sing, and seem to fly,
Borne by the heav'nly subject to the sky,
So bold a flight unable to sustain,
Too soon, alas! I'm forc'd to fall again.

So the young tuneful lark, when first he tries
His voice, and wings, awhile he upward flies,
Pleas'd with the prospect he pursues his way,
And sings the beauties of the new-born day;
But quickly tir'd, swift flutt'ring he descends,
And all in silent admiration ends.