1783 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

Etoniensis, "Lines to William Hayley, Esq." Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser (3 May 1783).



The happy act which urg'd from pole to pole,
Forms and connects, into one beauteous whole,
This many-purpled earth, too long remain'd
Perplex'd by error, and by fear restrain'd;
Till blest with talents whose superior force,
Soar'd far beyond his age's level course,
The great Columbus rose, with ardent mind,
To execute the plan his thought design'd;
And bid, tho' fraud and power his steps oppose,
A world unknown its wond'rous scenes disclose.

Thus while advent'ring on the sea of rhyme,
You teach the bard t' explore each Epic clime,
O, like Columbus, would you spread that sail,
So often fill'd by Fame's unceasing gale;
And trace some path of your poetic chart,
Yourself th' example of your lesson'd art,
Then in this age another rival "born"
To Greece, and Rome, our England might "adorn!"