1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Jones

Anonymous, "Sonnet, in commemoration of Sir William Jones" The Monthly Magazine 1 (June 1796) 404.



Souls of the Worthies, Selden, Milton, all
Who sit inspher'd on yon high dwelling-place,
Immortal guardians of the human race,
Which while on earth ye serv'd — now that ye call
Th' ascended Jones to walk your starry hall—
Why teach ye not mankind, as erst, t' inurn
With solemn show the virtuous, and to burn
Memorial incense, and with hymns t' install,
At their rear'd statues in the temple's aile,
To pause revering — thinking o'er their deeds?
So should your new companion's earthly weeds
Become a sainted relique. Bid him hail!
Europe and Asia, ask your purest meeds,
Clasp'd o'er his distant tomb, Learning and Freedom wail.
June 7.