1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Jerningham

Cathol, "On the Death of Edward Jerningham, Esq." Gentleman's Magazine 83 (August 1813) 158-59.



The Western sun his beams majestic shew'd,
The gentle show'r refresh'd the dusty road,
Lo! Iris, boasting in her varied hue,
O'er yon steep mountain bursts upon the view;
The herds repose, the youthful lambkins bound,
The languid swallows skim the verdant ground.
Sweet was the scene — a gentle riv'let sped
Its hasty passage through the smiling mead;
Enchanting voices fill my raptur'd ear,
Which to proceed from yonder shades appear;
Sweet Philomela pours her touching strains,
And o'er the concert of the forest reigns,
A flow'ry mountain fill'd with charms my eye,
My raptur'd ear was seiz'd with melody:
Soon I beheld a Virgin form reclin'd,
Whose num'rous tears bespoke her anxious mind;
Her hair dishevel'd hung in careless braids
That o'er the verdure wav'd in restless shades;
Her azure robe in graceful foldings flow'd,
Her tears a charm ineffable bestow'd!
Her iv'ry arm oppress'd a golden lyre,
Her eye-balls beam'd with penetrating fire!
Amaz'd I stood — a gentle whisper heard,
(While ev'ry tree is still, and ev'ry bird;)
Let silence reign! your soul attention seeks;
Let silence reign! Britannia's Genius speaks:
"Alas! alas! my best of sons I mourn,
Who to my regions never shall return;
Alas! my tears forbid — I cannot name—
Illustrious name! the matchless Jerningham!—
If all my sons would his example take,
Virtue would ne'er their honour'd steps forsake."—

Rise then, immortal Bard, for such thou art,
Rise! and to us thy aid invok'd impart!—
May Albion's sons your bright example view,
And strive to be both Saints and Bards like you!
Near Berwick on Tweed.