1775 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Robert Hill, "On the Death of Oliver Goldsmith" Poems on Several Occasions, chiefly miscellaneous (1775) 155-57.



Alas! the Pride of Letters is no more!
The mighty Loss of Goldsmith all deplore.
Quite from his Lips his tuneful Breath is fled,
And he lies number'd with the silent Dead.
He cannot now in moving Numbers sing,
Nor tune the Lyre, nor touch the trembling String.
Ye Britons mourn that suffer by the Blow,
It is indeed unutterable Woe.
But chiefly ye to whom the Bard is dear,
Pour forth your Griefs, and drop, ah! drop a Tear!
Already Learning's Sons distress'd appear.
Goldsmith, the gentle Goldsmith, leaves the Stage!
Goldsmith, the greatest Poet of the Age.
The Man of Rhyme, the Boast of Science fair,
Is lost to all the World; while twice ten thousand mourn with dismal Care.
The dismal News to distant Places flies,
A Murmur reigns, a Noise begins to rise,
Goldsmith is dead, some dear Acquaintance cries.
If Genius meets Reward beyond the Grave,
If after Death the learn'd immortal Pleasure have,
Then Goldsmith will be blest, his Soul the Bard shall save.
He was what once was Dryden, Garth, and Rowe,
As did their Numbers, so did his'n flow.
Our Author wrote for to reform Mankind;
For true Ambition is with Virtue join'd.
Sweet Poetry in Goldsmith gain'd a Friend,
Alas! she sickens now, she mourns his End.
The Orpheus of the Age at length is flown,
Methinks I hear Parnassus give a Groan.
The Muses all in Tears desponding lie,
E'en sportive Thalia now begins to sigh;
Down, down the Cheeks the briny Torrents flow
Lamented Goldsmith causes all our Woe.
The People hang their Heads that pass along,
A cruel Anguish rends their tuneful Throng;
A thousand Sighs and more proceed from all,
Affliction mighty stabs both great and small,
While I, the meanest Servant of the Muse, deplore the Poet's Fall.