1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

J. B—o, "Verses to William Hayley, Esq." European Magazine 12 (July 1787) 58.



Enraptur'd bard, from thy harmonious lyre,
Tun'd by Apollo's hand, the numbers flow
With all the warmth of true poetic fire;
In ev'ry line succeeding beauties glow:

Where nervous thought by elegance refin'd,
(That breathes the purest spirit of the Nine)
Softness and Ease with Harmony combin'd,
United in thy verse conspicuous shine:

Where bold Imagination's brightest ray
Illumes each scene thy magic pencil shews;
And Heav'n-born sportive Fancy, ever gay,
On thy blest Muse her powerful aid bestows.

Stretch'd on her wing, through the aetherial skies
With rapid flight thy daring genius soars
(Follow'd in vain by Wonder's gazing eyes)
To Pindus height, and climes unknown explores.

Entranc'd within her visionary bowers,
(Where airy shapes and forms celestial throng)
Poetic dreams beguile the happy hours,
And with their influence inspire thy song.

There (while the spheres in tuneful concert move,
And charm the ravish'd ear with sounds divine)
The sister-virgins of the sacred grove
Around thy brow their blooming laurels twine.

Thus plac'd by Merit on her throne sublime,
In vain shall Envy strive to blast thy fame;
That will outlive the power of moud'ring Time,
Till distant ages echo Hayley's name.

Forgive the theme my infant muse aspires,
And smile complacent on these feeble lays;
Where (tho' thy worth a nobler strain requires)
The admiring heart an unfeign'd tribute pays.