1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

W. M. I., "Irregular Stanzas, written in a Copy of the Poetical Works of Dermody" The Monthly Magazine 27 (July 1809) 587.



Shade of the Bard, whom heav'nly genius fir'd,
But Mis'ry and Misfortune mark'd their own!
With tearful eye, I ponder o'er the page,
Where Friendship, sorrowing, makes thy follies known.

Now borne on seraph-wing I view thee tower
Sublime, 'mid sportive Fancy's regions wild;
Now sunk beneath the frown of meagre want,
Pen the sad lay of Melancholy's child.

Now Indiscretion's slave, by passion sway'd,
'Mid scenes of vice and folly grov'ling low,
Behold thee forfeit gen'rous Moira's aid,
And breathe the sigh of Pity o'er thy woe.

At length beneath a hovel's time-rent walls
Thou liest, the victim of diseases dire;
Whilst unchang'd Friendship, bending o'er thy couch,
Sees Genius' son in wretchedness expire.

Too late it found thee with the lib'ral boon;
Too late, alas! to ward the cruel blow;
Too late — but agoniz'd to view the scene,
And mourn thine early fate with heartfelt woe.

Unhappy Minstrel! who, with raptur'd fire,
Tho' Folly's child, could form the polish'd strain,
Thy darker shades shew man the vain desire
An excellence unblemish'd to attain.

Alas! I know, too oft the daring mind,
The Bard inspir'd with Genius' pow'rs divine,
Can meanly seek the mad Circean rout,
Or bow the knee at Atheism's shrine:

Too oft can sever Friendship's sacred bonds,
Or Love's more dear, more tender, blissful tie;
Can basely point wan Envy's rankling dart,
Or strike the lyre of vice-taught minstrelsy.

But thee — when oft assail'd by want and care,
If from stern virtue's path I mark thee stray,
I view with pity Passion's wayward slave;
Weep for thy faults, and venerate thy lay.