1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Montgomery

C. A., "To Mr. Montgomery, Author of a Volume of Poems lately published" The Monthly Magazine 22 (December 1806) 471-72.



Tho' Misery stole thee at thy birth,
Tho' Faction mark'd thee for his prey,
And Envy, sickening at thy worth,
Obscur'd with clouds thine opening day.

Enchanting minstrel! thou could'st sing,
Tho' scowling daemons gazed around;
And touch'd the interesting string
In the lone prison's cheerless bound.

With lengthen'd notes, and mellower strain,
Now proudly soaring in thy might,
I hail thee, wond'rous youth! again,
Exulting in thy loftier flight.

Whether I give thine awful "Grave"
The tear of penitential woe;
Skim thy rich "Ocean's" varying wave,
Or feel the "Joy of Grief" overflow.

Now with the aged Swiss extend
My new-nerv'd arm in frantic heat;
Or weeping o'er thy "Pillow" bend,
Till agony itself is sweet.

I love thy genius! bless thy lyre!
By Sorrow's sacred hand 'twas given;
"Baptized by her refining fire:"
A fire sublime that fell from heaven.

Amidst its hallowed beams I trace
Religion's mild and genuine ray,
Enlightening with resistless grace
The scene, the spirit, of the lay.

Exalted sufferer! yes, 'tis thine
To prove the Bard's divinest art,
To prove that every living line
Can charm, and melt, and mend the heart.

Then guard, with holy fondness guard,
This! the true poet's noblest aim:
And oh! be thine the great reward,
Of endless bliss with endless fame.