1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Jerningham

T., "To Edward Jerningham, Esq. on his Poem entitled Enthusiasm" The Sun (28 May 1796).



Presiding Spirit of the ardent mind—
Deluded oft, but noble still her aim;
Now urging SUPERSTITION, rash and blind,
Of GENIUS now the animating flame.
True, she has stoop'd, her impulse to impart,
When PERSECUTION spread its fatal fire,
Yet has she rous'd the Patriot's gen'rous heart,
Yet has she touch'd the raptur'd Poet's lyre.
Well has thy Muse the dubious contest try'd,
And at the shrine of Truth due homage paid;
But had her voice ingloriously deny'd
The wreath that should adorn th' Enthusaist Maid:
Still Truth and Feeling would her worth maintain,
Since to her zeal we owe thy glowing strain.