1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

Anonymous, "Lines to the Memory of Henry Kirke White, late of St. John's College, Cambridge" The Monthly Magazine 28 (August 1809) 54-55.



And is his happy spirit fled?
Is Henry number'd with the dead?
How weeps the Muse!!! her harp unstrung
Upon the willows she has hung,
Who can forbear to shed a tear,
Over the grave of one so dear?
Illustrious Bard! I pray thee, say,
What Muse attun'd thy well-known lay?
Did in thy ardent bosom glow,
And in mellifluous numbers flow?
He now invokes her aid, who sings
Thy worth, and his poor tribute brings;
Although in such an artless lay,
In strains such as his numbers may.
We know, alas! that thou (full well)
A martyr to thy studies fell.
Whilst others fast were lock'd in sleep,
Thy nightly vigils thou didst keep.
When with affliction sorely prest,
Thy busy mind could find no rest.
Could midnight's silent hours but speak,
Appear'd the marks of dire disease,
Consumption had begun to seize
Thy frame, still was thy mind intent
On knowledge, and still closely bent
On the great business of thy days,
To gain the meed of well-earn'd praise.
How soon, alas! his race is run!
How soon his fleeting days are gone!!!