1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Mr. T—r, "On seeing a Monument, erected by P—p T—sse, at his Hermitage, to the Memory of Chatterton" St. James's Chronicle (28 June 1785).



If Breath of mortal Fame can Pleasure yield
To Shades of Genius, in th' Elysian Field,
Spirit of injur'd Chatterton! rejoice,
And hear, of Fame the late-applauding Voice!
Chill Penury depressed thy Muse of Fire,
And Suicide's rude Hand unstrung the Lyre
Though all the Muses smil'd upon thy Birth,
And show'd thee as a Prodigy on Earth.
Lo! such the hard Conditions of thy Fate,
Living despis'd, lamented when too late:
Thy Thread of Life, by too severe a Doom,
Was early cut, e'en in thy youthful Bloom:
Nor was thy Name yet honour'd with a Tomb.
O Chatterton! if thou may'st deign to smile
On one Recess of thine ungrateful Isle,
At Length suppress thy just indignant Rage,
And view, well pleas'd, the Wanderer's Hermitage.
There thy delighted Eye at last may see
The grateful Monument arise to thee.
One worthy Individual thus supply'd
What all thy boasted Patrons* have deny'd.
Bath, June 25, 1785.

* Should not Mr. W—e, when he favoured the Publick with his Reasons for not seeing Chatterton, have laid before them the unfortunate Youth's Letter to him?