1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Thelwall

Cyani, "To Mr. Thelwall, on his Poem of the Seducer, lately published" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (26 June 1787).



Thelwall! for thee I now invoke the muse,
A female bard may well thy work commend;
With pleasure woman may thy verse peruse,
And hail thee as her sex's warmest friend.

Fain would I add a trophy to a name
Which boasts inately all that's good and great;
May thy desert be crown'd with endless fame,
And this inscription 'grav'd beneath thy feet:

"This is the statue of a British youth,
Who writ against Seduction's barb'rous crimes,
He sung the cause of Virtue and of Truth;
Be emulous ye youth of future times."
June 23, 1787.

[Thelwall responded with a "Sonnet to Cyani" in the paper for 29 June:
The freshest wreath from Pindus' laurel'd grove,
When twin'd by Beauty's hand I doubly prize;
Judge then what transports in my bosom move,
When thy soft stanzas meet my flatter'd eyes.
Tho' Fiction's robe from sight the lyrist shroud,
Her partial praise imparts an honest joy;
As Phoebus' beams, tho' hid behind a cloud,
Prolifick warmth to Earth's glad breast supply.
Yes, I confess, the love of honest Fame
Glows in my breast, with ardour unrestrain'd;
And sweet applause, which feeds the gen'rous flame,
May urge my course till added wreaths are gain'd,
And trust me, fair-one, still to Virtue's praise,
And injur'd Beauty's aid my honest theme, I'll raise.
Walcot-Place, Lambeth, June 27, 1787.]