1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Smart

William Kenrick, "On reading Mr. Smart's Song to David" Public Advertiser (25 May 1763).



Sweeter than Hautboy, Pipe, or Flute,
The Lyre, that hath so long been mute,
Salutes mine Ears again:
Hark! how its Notes to Heaven aspire,
And catch from the celestial Choir
The animating Strain.

'Tis SMART — how nervous, bold and strong!
How great! how beautiful! the Song
He tunes to David's Praise!
While, silent, from his native Sphere,
Each listening Angel bends to hear,
In Rapture and Amaze.

And he, if Praise his sole Employ,
His swelling Heart hath Room for Joy,
E'en David's Soul is glad:—
Yet this the Man insane they call,
Of whom they cry, as once of PAUL,
"Much Learning makes him mad."

Oh! could but I, whose sober Phlegm
Marrs the cold philosophic Theme,
Catch but one Spark divine;
Some Portion of thy brighter Fire!—
Oh! that thy Muse could mine inspire
With Frenzy such as thine!