1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

W. C., "Sonnet on Chatterton" The Meteor No. 12 (1800) 2:158.



O CHATTERTON! fair Genius' elder born!
Thou who, oft straying Avon's banks along,
Pour'd forth so sweet thy wildly-warbling song,
With clouds o'ercast arose thy cheerless morn!
Ill could'st thou brook th' unfeeling taunt of scorn,
The chilling hand of want: — beneath the darts
Of obloquy, and envy's hellish arts,
Too soon, alas, thy spirit sunk forlorn!
Thy features took the pallid hue of care,
Thy bloodshot eyeballs, starting from thine head,
By fits cast round dread frenzy's vacant glare,
And thy torn heart with throbbing anguish bled.
Rash youth! the direst wrath of heaven to dare,
And drink the bitter draught, that gave thee to the dead!
Lynn.