1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Melesina Chenevix Trench

Mary Leadbeater to Melesina Chenevix Trench, 7 July 1802; in Leadbeater, Poems (1808) 397-98.



While Melesina wakes the living lyre,
And Truth and History guide the moral song,
The raptured heart is kindled at her fire,
And quaffs th' harmonious tide which rolls along.

Wealth, Beauty, Genius, all combine to pour
Their brilliant gifts upon their favourite fair:
Wise was the choice and happy was the hour,
In which those brilliant gifts united were!

Not hers the joy to bask in Fortune's glow:
Her simple taste from purer springs is fed;
'Tis hers to bid the golden current flow,
Where the bleak wilds of poverty are spread.

Seek not in courts: — you shall not find her there;
She proved the pomp of courts and found it vain:
Behold her seated on the rustick chair,
Surrounded by the little, lowly train!

The uncouth accents strike her patient ear,
Oft is the tedious task repeated o'er;
Whilst winning smiles his wond'ring bosom cheer,
The little peasant learns the artless lore.

Thus in her breast ennobling virtues shine,
While meek Humility inhabits there:
Wealth, Beauty, Genius, well may you combine
Your brilliant gifts to grace your fav'rite fair!