1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Robinson

Il Lauro, "To Mrs. Robinson" Morning Post (5 February 1794).



O Thou, whose magic Lyre displays
The wreath of Taste, the Poet's bays!
Who, FIRST of all the tuneful throng,
A Nation hails, The Queen of Song!
Receive, from one untaught to sing,
The strain that floats on Fancy's wing;
For well to thee such strains may pour,
Whose brow, adorn'd with many a flow'r,
Presents the charms of Nature wild,
Her fav'rite Work, her own fair Child!

Thou bright Example! to whose lays
Bursts forth involuntary praise!
Whose GENIUS, like the starry rays,
That bid the Noon-tide Monarch blaze,
Scatters around such wond'rous light,
As bids each Meteor fade form sight:
While Mortals hail, in choral song,
Thee! FIRST of the harmonious throng!
Whose Fame excites the envious pang,
Whose verse defies her keenest fang;
Whose polish'd strain, and classic mind,
Leave each competitor behind;
To imitate thy light divine!
And in its beams, at distance shine.

Still may'st thou cherish, still receive,
The praise which CANDOUR loves to give:
And Mistress of the LYRIC Throne,
Still reign supreme, and reign alone!
Still smile, to see the lab'ring throng,
Essay to imitate thy song;
That song, that to this Age reveal'd,
Charms, in the shades of Time conceal'd:
That gave, to wond'ring Eyes, again,
The Pride of TASTE, the CLASSIC STRAIN!
S—, Jan. 14.