1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Graves

Samuel Jackson Pratt, "To the Rev. Mr. Graves, of Claverton, near Bath" Gentleman's Magazine 74 (August 1804) 761.



Long-liv'd and venerable friend,
Thanks for the Paradox you send;
You talk of weakness and of age,
And then, to prove it fill your page
With ev'ry mark of mental health,
Vigour and intellectual wealth,
And active, warm benevolence,
And all the energies of sense.

You tell me too, you're deaf and blind,
Then shew the vision of your mind
To be so little worse for wear,
In all that Genius pictures fair,
That, running Sense and Wit 'gainst Time,
You're little more than in your prime;
And had I not the date from you,
I scarce shou'd think your fifty-two;
The point, when Wisdom is mature,
And what remains of Fancy, pure;
Or, if you still dispute this truth,
We'll say you're in your second youth!
But even here you change the plan,
NOT TWICE A CHILD, BUT TWICE A MAN!
March 31st, 1804.

* Written in consequence of that gentleman announcing to Mr. PRATT a new and interesting work called the Invalid, by the author of the Spiritual Quixote, Collumella, &c. written and put to press in the 91st year of the author's age!