1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

R., "Sonnet on the much-lamented Death of William Cowper, Esq." European Magazine 43 (April 1803) 304.



By hands unseen, to shield his earthly bed
(Where weeping virtues o'er his cold turf bend,
And mourn the early doom of their lov'd friend),
Shall sweetest flow'rs of earliest bloom be spread.
Here shall the village-maids and youths repair;
Here shall the kindred soul that loves to grieve,
Still linger o'er his sylvan grave at eve,
And weep his fate. The Red-breast here shall bear
The hoary moss and flow'rs to deck the clay
That shields from mould'ring dews the Poet's breast.
While pensive wand'ring thro' the moss-grown way
At eve, the kindred Muse, in sable drest,
Breathes her sad dirges o'er his lifeless clay,
And hymns, with sainted voice, his soul to rest.
April 16th.