1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Cunningham

Anonymous, "On the Death of Mr. Cunningham" Newcastle Chronicle (2 October 1773).



Go, spotless shade! where envy is unknown,
Where worth at last (oh me! too late) is crown'd;
Go join with souls congenial to thy own;
To loftier lays go bid thy lyre resound!

Thy soft-tun'd lyre, that charm'd the past'ral plain,
As once Apollo's — when from heav'n dethron'd,
Enamour'd of his song, each love-sick swain
And melting maid the banish'd god bemoan'd.

Thy SHENSTONE there — and He of ev'ry grace,
In Hagley's shade that sang his pious loves;
With thee, in common bliss conjoin'd, shall trace
The winding mazes of Elysian groves.

Tho' glar'd no scutcheon on thy gloomy bier,
Her honours vain tho' heraldry deny'd;
Yet holy Friendship shed the tender tear,
That never grac'd the guilty shrines of pride.

Blest shade, farewell! and o'er thy humble grave
(Thy grave more honour'd than the marble tomb!)
No weeds obscene their wanton toiling wave,
But cypress sad, and lasting laurel bloom!
Newcastle.