1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

Anonymous, "To Miss Smith, of Bignor Hall, on her excellent Imitations of Petrarch" Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser (22 November 1784).



When Petrarch sung th' accomplish'd Laura's praise,
Some wish at least, might urge his active mind,
Not empty verse alone he then design'd;
But a soft passion in her soul to raise.
Love was the author of his flowing verse,
Love the sound source of all the Poet's lays,
By Cupid's aid alone, HE gained the bays,
And modern ages still his lines rehearse.
But what can move this rival of his fame?
So stern a model, how can beauty chuse
To court so coy, so difficult a Muse,
Whilst others gain by easier roads a name.
What zeal has caused a general acclaim,
That Bignor Hall's become a new Vaucluse?