1759 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Smart

A. M., "Occasion'd by the Benefit to be performed at Drury-Lane this Evening for Mr. Smart" Lloyd's Evening Post (2 February 1759) 118.



Mourn not, my SMART, that now no more the Muse
Brings to thy hallow'd lip Castalian dews;
That with thy Horace thou no more can'st sing,
Or with bold hand awake the sounding string.
What tho' thy pow'rs have felt the envious blast!
Still to late time thy deathless fame shall last.
Caecilia's praise, Pope, taught by thee, shall tell
In numbers worthy of the Latian Shell.
Tho' mute thy tongue, thy lines melodious flow,
And in the hop land thy own laurels grow.
Still mounting hence, on the rapt Seraph's ray,
To the All-Good thy Muse attunes her Lay.
To hear thee, Angels from their golden beds
Willing bend down their star-encircled heads;
A Soul congenial the whole Host admire,
Thy Hallelujahs kindling heav'nly fire.
This Praise, my Friend, nor this thy Praise alone,
A higher claim and nobler wreaths you own;
Thy wide Benevolence, thy Soul sincere,
Thy gen'rous Friendship, and thy social tear.
Thy Public Spirit, that disdain'd a Slave;
Thy honest Pride, that still despis'd a Knave.
Thy manly Warmth each Rival to commend;
Thy Rapture for the Merit of a Friend.
Thy steady Morals, that ne'er lost their sway,
Nor, like thy vernal Genius, felt decay.
All this was thine; this its Reversion brings,
When Wit and Poetry are idle things.