1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

Rev. Edmund Cartwright, "To William Hayley, Esq. written on a Blank Leaf of his Essay on History, 1780" Cartwright, Sonnets to Eminent Men (1783) 4.



Whether thy muse instruct us to discern
The laws that guide to fame the historic train
Or paint, with rival power, a sister's reign;
Or, fondly sharing in thy soft concern,
Pour o'er departed friendship's silent urn
The soothing sorrows of her pensive strain—
Alike she pleases. With repeated gain,
HAYLEY, thy captivating page I turn!
Not that the lustre of thy letter'd fame
Alone compels a stranger's just applause:
A heart, that glows with freedom's holy flame,
That pants in virtue's, truth's, and nature's cause,
Is thine — or never may we hope to find
Ingenuous verse the mirror of the mind.