1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Sheridan

Anonymous, in "Monody on the Death of Mrs. Sheridan" The Oracle (7 July 1792).



Lo! whelm'd with Grief the mighty Master lies!
Who best commands th' Orphean Lyre;
Around his couch the prostrate Muses sigh,
And form a grateful, weeping Choir.—
Too well they know, such tender cause
Subsides not by Persuasions's laws,
But yields alone to Time;
Whose rapid wheel soon brings the farthest day,
And joins the breathing, and the breathless clay,
Of ev'ry Rank and Clime.

What cou'd the pow'r of Music, now!
But bring, to Sorrow's sight,
The lovely Form — the saint-like Brow,
Once gaz'd on with delight—
Who, like CAECELIA, swept the trembling chords—
Whose Voice was all that Harmony affords?

What cou'd the Scenic Art,
Of Joy or Hope impart,
To check the rising tear;
THALIA, with the graceful Train,
Wou'd shew her, moving in the throng,
Where Smiles, and Dance, and Love belong,
The fairest of the Fair—
Wou'd urge Comparison again,
While dreadful Mem'ry points — the Bier.