1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

Anonymous, in A Tear of Gratitude, to the Memory of the unfortunate Dr. Dodd. A Poem; London Chronicle (5 August 1777) 121.



Pamper'd with ease, elated with success
Too high he soar'd; O had he never soar'd
From virtue's sight, nor dazzled by the glare,
Deceitful glare, of luxury and shew;
Sinn'd "'gainst his better knowledge, not deceiv'd!"
E'er now perhaps possess'd of all he sought,
Of ev'ry wish possess'd, he bright had shone
The church's glory and the people's pride.
But, sad reverse! beyond the bounds emerg'd
Of careful prudence, plung'd beneath the wave
Of heedless dissipation and expence;
In one sad hour (O deed for ever mourn'd)
He drew the fatal bond — the bond of death!

Where were ye then ye guardian spirits,
Ye tutelary pow'rs that shield the just?
Ah just no more! from God and truth estrang'd
The hapless preacher fell! Almighty wrath
To a revolted heart consign'd him o'er,
From God revolted and his righteous ways.
For when, enslav'd by luxury, vain man
Forgets the source of ev'ry bliss enjoy'd,
And thwarts his will, whose laws are freedom's voice,
What wonder then, if Providence incens'd,
Leave the misguided wretch to search for good;
Vainly to search amidst the pathless tracts
Of human wisdom, and resign him o'er
To his own heart a prey, left in his turn,
Left by that guide he slighted, left by God!