1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

Charles Phillips, in The Emerald Isle; Dublin Evening Post (21 July 1812)



But hark, to that strain of delight in the sky,
Winging the breeze with its melody!
With what magic it floats on the incense of even!
How sweetly it softens the chorus of Heaven!
Hark — is it a strain from some spirit of fire,
Or the sweet swelling echo of Albany's lyre—
Perhaps 'tis the welcome of bliss to the brave,
Or an anthem of love from the Maid of the Wave,
Or it may be the song of a sinner forgiven!

Alas, 'tis not long since that heavenly strain,
Awoke all its echoes, but woke them in vain;
Like the harp of the Winter we hung it in air,
And smiled on the shivering song of Despair!
Oh Heaven! was it meet on a pitiless shore,
"No parent to cherish, or friend to deplore."
Ere the peach down of infancy faded its bloom,
Sweet Poesy's child should descend to the tomb
Unprotected and poor!

Was there none in the circle of Fashion's career,
No singular spendthrift in Folly's gay sphere,
No penitent Croesus from India's domain,
No Mitre embarrass'd with sinecure gain,
No Patriot pension'd, no Walpole in place,
Who, prompted, perhaps, to astonish his race,
Would, from vanity outwards, or conscience within,
Save the Orphan of Genius from sorrow and sin?
But, tho' cheer'd by no solace, and sunn'd by no ray,
This world's sad winter has faded away,
With many a sigh,
There are some to thy evergreen grave who will bring
The fragrance of Summer and flowrets of Spring,
And, weeping, thy late, but sad requiem sing,
Poor DERMODY!