1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Aikin

Gilbert Wakefield, "To John Aikin, M.D." The Monthly Magazine 11 (July 1801) 513-14.



Next to that first of comforts to the soul,
The plaudit of a conscience self-approv'd,
AIKIN! I deem the gratulation sweet
Of sympathising friendship, and a Muse
Terse, uncorrupt, ingenuous, bold and free;
A Muse from whom nor titled grandeur bribes,
Nor pamper'd wealth, a sacrificial strain.
Hence with sensations bland of conscious pride
I feel the manna of thy tuneful tongue
Drop medicinal influence on my breast,
Ruffled, not torn, by Persecution's blast.
Thus, after chilling frost, morn's genial ray
Invigorates, cheers, expands, the shrivell'd flower:
Thus the broad mountain flings his cooling shade
O'er the faint pilgrim in a thirsty land.
Oh! may thy friend, as in the noon of life,
Responsive to the calls of truth and Man,
Self in benevolence absorb'd and lost,
Thro' the short remnant of his closing day,
With brave defiance, or with calm disdain,
Front the grim visage of despotic power,
Lawless, self-will'd, fierce, merciless, corrupt;
Nor, 'midst the applauses of the wise and good,
Lose the fond greetings of a Muse like thine!
Hackney, June 19, 1801.