1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

J. B., "On Mr. R—'s Poem, entitled The Pleasures of Memory" European Magazine 26 (July 1794) 62-63.



Roving with Fancy in Arcadian bowers,
Oft has the Muse beguil'd her younger hours,
While the shrill rustic pipe forgot to play,
And listening Wood Nymphs caught the tender lay;
Or when, inspir'd with more ambitious glow,
She twin'd the laurel round the warrior's brow,
Oft would her skill the date of fame prolong
By the immortal energies of song:—
Tho' strains like these in genial breasts excite
Th' alternate swell of wonder and delight,
With more attractive charm the verse appears
Whose magic power calls back our fleeting years,
And binds with Memory's tenacious chain
The airy forms of Pleasure and of Pain.
Majestic intellect, whose glances keen
Mark the quick changes of the vital scene,
Has taught her son to scorn the gaudy rhime
(The pride of witlings — but the sport of time)
Where trick the want of genius would supply,
While Fashion's clamour stifles Nature's sigh.
Then bring the wreath, and crown with plaudits due
The Bard to Sense and Nature's impulse true,
Who bids each line a sterling thought impart,
Or through the soul with force electric dart,
And waken Sympathy to taste once more
Joys that e'en flatt'ring Hope ne'er promis'd to restore.
Inner Temple.