1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

S. J., "On a broken Pinnacle of Cowper's Summer House at Olney" Gentleman's Magazine 94 (Supplement to Part II, 1824) 634.



Since first thy russet form was rear'd,
Yon lowly roof to grace,
What new-born numbers have appear'd,
And run their mortal race:
Whilst tuneful chimes in yonder tower,
Have subdivided every hour.

And, as the varying seasons roll'd,
And circling suns declin'd,
Who can the heavy woes unfold
Sustain'd by human kind?
Whilst Time, pursuing, gradual pace,
Impress'd deep furrows on thy face.

At length, the pelting storm has broke
With hollow whistling sound,
Thy long resisting heart of oak,
And dash'd thee to the ground.
While tuneful notes from yonder tow'r,
Have measur'd out thy final hour.

There, tinted rich, with mossy green,
To drilling worms a prey,
That well-known pinnacle is seen,
A fragment cast away;
No more the pensive sigh to claim,
Of vot'ries to a Poet's name.

But long, this sweet, sequester'd scene,
Where Cowper woo'd his muse,
Shall kindred spirits charm, I ween,
And kindred thoughts infuse;
Perchance, till yonder chimes give o'er,
And Time itself shall be no more.