1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Miss L—, "Elegy on Doctor Goldsmith" 1774; London Chronicle (5 December 1775) 541.



Miss L— gives her compliments to the Printer, and acquaints him, that the following attempt at an Elegy, was made last year, on the death of the late Doctor GOLDSMITH, which she wishes he will please to insert, and inform the Public, that she wrote it under great bodily weakness from a series of extreme bad health; and that such situation being confessedly unfavourable to mental efforts, if honoured by them, with any allowance, beyond what is usually made for Ladies writings, she should esteem herself their much obliged humble servant.

Strike, heave the breast, let melting passion flow;
'Tis Nature vibrates at the fatal blow;
Her raptured Colourist is fled.
Rich lively Fancy, vigorous conquering Truth,
In laurel'd ripeness, and in rosied youth;
With him her honoured train are dead.

Yet stem the tide, lest weak excess impart
A vain despondence to the swelling heart:
Illustrious, wond'rous Johnson know;
Amidst the stars, he can create the line,
In various splendor, and in force divine,
Or thy grac'd kindred Reynolds glow.

But view, the grateful Genius of each isle,
That most luxuriously partook his smile;
Support with plaints the purer clay.
Thereon, ye drooping Muse, Virtues dwell:
While lands embellished, echo all his knell;
Informed by th' Enchanters lay.

Black Pate alarms, pale Auburn's poor remains,
The sad Historian of the pensive plains,
Whose pitying Patron's soar'd on high:
Abandon'd to wild woe, she meets the ground:
And orphan'd Nature sympathizes round,
So strong is the endearing tie.

Yon Bittern's mate, by pow'rful Fancy's seen,
"Where desolation saddens all the green,"
Casting fair fragrant tributes down;
From that spot culled, where Nature gratis smil'd;
And blooms perchance the Rose and Lily wild,
For his chaste Muse's emblem sown.

On Angel's wings in sacred zeal she soar'd,
And bless'd Religion's goodly pearl explor'd:
Our Love-tun'd Bard the beauty found:
Bright Hope confers the palm and robes of white,
Where our LORD GOD is everlasting light;
And Seraphs golden harps resound.