1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Montagu

Anonymous, "To Mrs. Montague, occasion'd by the Author's having paid her a Visit just after seeing the Tomb of Shakespeare" General Evening Post (4 September 1787).



As late I sought with ardour keen,
Where still lone Avon wails her SHAKESPEARE dead;
With sorrowing heart I view'd the joyless scene,
"And is," I cried! "the Bard's creation fled!"
His elves, that frolick'd in the star-light sheen,
Creep to their acorn cups, and hide their head;
And "the quaint mazes on the wanton green"
All undistinguish'd lie, "for lack of tread."
Pensive I wept; when, issuing from the tomb,
This welcome voice I heard, or seem'd to hear,
"What boots to me thy sorrow's fruitless gloom,"
To me, 'a kneaded clod,' thy unavailing tear?
Go rather, with pure joy and rev'rence due,
My SPIRIT seek, that lives in MONTAGUE!"