1743 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Savage

Aaron Hill, "Verses on the late Mr. Savage" 1743 ca.; Morning Herald and London Advertiser (17 January 1788).



Hopeless, abandon'd, almless, and oppress'd,
Lost to delight, and every way distress'd;
Cross his cold bed in wild disorder thrown,
Thus sigh'd Alexis, friendless, and alone:

Why do I breathe? What joy can Being give?
When she, who gave me life, forgets I live!
Feels not these wintry blasts, nor heeds my smart,
But shuts me from the shelter of her heart!
Saw me expos'd to want! to shame! to scorn!
To ills, which make it mis'ry to be born!
Cast me, regardless, on the world's bleak wild,
And bade me be a wretch, while yet a child!

Where can he hope for pity, peace, or rest,
Who moves no softness in a mother's breast?
Custom, law, reason, all, my cause forsake,
And Nature sleeps to keep my woes awake!
Crimes, which the Cruel scarce believe can be,
The Kind are guilty of, to ruin ME.
Ev'n she, who bore me, blasts me with her hate,
And, meant my Fortune, makes herself my Fate.

Yet has this sweet neglecter of my woes,
The softest, tend'rest breast that pity knows!
Her eyes shed Mercy, wheresoe'er they shine;
And her soul MELTS at ev'ry woe — but MINE.
Sure then some secret Fate, for Guilt unwill'd,
Some sentence pre-ordain'd to be fulfill'd,
Plung'd me thus deep in Sorrow's searching flood,
And wash'd me from the mem'ry of her blood.

But, Oh! whatever cause has mov'd her hate.
Let me but sigh in silence at my fate;
The God, WITHIN, perhaps may touch her breast,
And when she PITIES, who can be distress'd?