1800 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Jones

George Hardinge, "Impromptu, on reading a Discourse by Sir William Jones" 1800 ca.; Hardinge, Miscellaneous Works (1818) 2:133.



Though deep in Persic and Arabian lore,
Though Science in her lap this Favourite bore;
Though Fancy lov'd him; though his life unblam'd
Was by the Muses and the Virtues claim'd:—
Pale at no jewels of this envy'd crown,
I leave them to their lustre and renown:
But covet all the rays that could impart
A gentle spirit and a feeling heart!
Whose note could prompt the Philosophic Chair,
"Life to the Insect, and for Birds the Air."

When all the tongues that he possessed are mute
(As Tully's eloquence, or Sappho's lute)—
The music of that whisper'd note shall breathe
A new-born life into his fading wreath.