1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

F., "Lines written immediately after reading Charlotte Smith's Elegies" Whitehall Evening Post (14 November 1791).



In plaintive notes the mournful numbers flow,
And strongly mark the author's sense of woe;
For happier born, and bred to better times,
To be reduc'd to supplicating rhymes:
Hard was thy lot, with such a sense refin'd,
To an unworthy consort to be join'd,
Whose vain ambition, and whose want of thought,
Reduc'd a fortune to a single groat!
O! strange delusion of the human mind,
To reas'ning deaf, and to discretion blind,
To run all hazards merely to commence
The fool of fashion, at th' expence of sense;
Too fatal symptom of a mind run wild,
To give the builders what should raise the child:
Form an excuse for dissipating waste—
Them call the fascinating folly — TASTE.