1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Perfect

Harriet Falconar, "To Doctor William Perfect" European Magazine 12 (October 1787) 312.



Assist, ye Maids of Thespia's sacred stream,
Forsake your ever-fair, your fragrant bow'rs,
While o'er my soul soft Friendship sheds her gleam,
In Friendship's praise renew your pleasing pow'rs.

Were I, bright nymphs, for once your guardian care,
Would you for me but wake your heavenly lyre,
Then might these lines Philander's worth declare,
And ages yet unborn that worth admire.

Methinks I see on Time's eternal base,
Unalterably fix'd, his sacred name;
Not even Time his glory can efface
From the bright annals of immortal Fame.

Fair glorious vision, see the heavenly Muse
To aid no earth-born votary now descends:
Hail, wond'rous Goddess! thou my numbers chuse,
Philander's Friendship all its influence lends.

With looks benignant, then the Goddess spoke—
"Rise suppliant, rise, the Muse assists thy toil."
From the bright trance my wond'ring soul awoke;
But ah! no more beheld the radiant smile.

Yet I delighted am to sing thy praise;
Yet shall this tongue thy native virtues name;
For thee the infant Muse her voice shall raise,
And bid this pen thy innate worth proclaim.

In the still gloom of night, when deep in rest
The world is sunk, and every eye retires
To close in sleep, my ever-grateful breast
For thee Philander wak'd its latent fires.

From their high thrones e'en Sion's Saints shall bend,
And list'ning Angels echo back my pray'r;
At thy great name the hosts of light attend,
And hail with rapture Heaven's eternal care.

May spotless Peace within thy guiltless soul
For ever dwell more beauteous than before;
May every year with added honours roll,
And suns revolving shew thy virtues more.

Haply some happier Muse in strains shall glow,
More fam'd, more equal to Philander's worth;
Whose rising merit, crush'd by Scorpion woe—
But for thy aid had perish'd in her birth.

Yet let his smiles attend this artless strain,
My Muse from fulsome adulation free,
'Tis his to sooth the sting of conscious pain,
And Heaven rewards his care with sympathy.

From me he turns not now with cold disdain,
But condescends to hear this humble lay;
So may fair Peace her spotless rights maintain;
And guide his footsteps to the realms of day.