1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Perfect

Anonymous, "Written on the Birth-day of William Perfect, M.D." Gentleman's Magazine 71 (January 1801) 67.



Responsive to the swelling lyre,
As to the soft-ton'd thrilling wire,
Mirth, pour thy sweetest lay;
And let the dulcet strains resound,
While varied joys trip lightly round
To hail his natal day.

Apollo's bard and favourite rare,
The laurel'd chaplet blooming fair,
His temples shall entwine:
Hygeia smil'd upon his birth,
And chose him for her priest on earth
Imparting skill divine.

Lo! where pale Sickness droops his head
On weeping Misery's cheerless bed,
Without a fee — his feet are led
To search the sufferer's door:
Such virtuous warmth in Nature's cause
Shall bless him, when the poor applause
Of man shall be no more.

And whilst life lingers thro' my heart,
And shall sensations soft impart,
My votive read shall sound,
To praise him for his native worth,
And hail the day that gave him birth,
Till Time shall run his round.

Let dove-ey'd Peace light on his breast,
And fold him in her heav'nly vest,
Nor let a care intrude;
Expand her shield — that baleful woe
His gen'rous bosom ne'er may know,
For he is truly good.

And may the gracious power supreme
(Who ruleth life's eventful dream),
From whom all mercies spring,
Still bless him with a lengthen'd date
Of happy years — till, very late,
His gentle spirit yields to fate,
Borne on an angel's wing.
Woolwich.