1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Seward

Anonymous, "Lines on Litchfield" General Evening Post (7 October 1783).



Passing the other day through Litchfield, I transcribed from an inn window the following very elegant lines. M. O. S.

Fair city! list, with conscious glory crown'd,
The spiry structures of thy Mercian state!
While History bids her ancient trump resound
How war in wrath unbarr'd thy blood-stain'd gate.
Not that the praise of ancestry alone
Is thine, fair city! blest thro' every age!
War's scythed car, yon miracles of stone,
Bow to the splendour of thy letter'd page.
Here Johnson fashion'd his elaborate style,
And truth well pleas'd the moral work survey'd;
Here, o'er her darling's cradle wont to smile,
Thalia with her Garrick fondly play'd;
Ah! here the flowers of England's virgin train,
Boast of our isle, Litchfield's peculiar pride,
Here Seward caught the dew-drops of her strain
From Grief and Fancy's magic-mingled tide.
Exult, fair city! — and indulge the praise
A grateful stranger to thy glory pays.