1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Montgomery

J. A., "To Mr. James Montgomery, on his Poems, lately published" The Monthly Magazine 21 (March 1806) 145.



Is there a "winter in thy soul"
That Genius cannot shine away?
Does dark Despair that heart controul
Which pants for Glory's radiant day?

Have past afflictions left the trace
Of sorrow grav'd in lines so deep
That Memory, hopeless to efface
The piteous forms, looks on to weep?

Then think, that o'er thy glowing page,
Where Fancy's hues with feeling blend,
Enthusiast Youth and temperate Age
In sympathetic rapture bend.

Think, that the music of thy strains,
Attun'd to Freedom's manly lyre,
Runs kindling thro' the Patriot's veins,
And lights his glistening eyes with fire.

Think, on some day of wild alarm,
When Albion's cliffs descry the foe,
Thy voice may nerve the forceful arm
That lays the fierce invader low.

And see, thy Country, freed at length
From jealous fears that haunt the slave,
And taught to call forth all her strength,
The hands and hearts of all the brave,

No more the freeborn spirit binds;
But, inly touch'd, delights to see
Her cause the cause of noblest minds,
Her friends the friends of Liberty!