1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bernard Barton

John Mitford, "Sonnet addressed to Bernard Barton" London Magazine 7 (June 1823) 620.



What to thy broken Spirit can atone,
Unhappy victim of the Tyrant's fears;
Or who to thee recal thy perish'd years,
Nature's sweet gift destroy'd: — when one by one,
The blossoms of thy vernal life were strown
Upon that dungeon floor: — Ungentle ears
Heard not, poor Tasso, thy lament; nor tears
Unlock'd Ferrara's sepulchre of stone.
Like Captive, my own Bard, art thou: yet he
Had thought, time, feeling free to count his chain,
While thine is heavier thraldom, double pain,
Prisoner at once, and Slave. — Oh! thoughtless ye,
Who make the gifted mind, that should be free,
A monumental lamp to burn in vain.
Benhall, March 31, 1823.