1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Tait

Mira, "Verses addressed to Mr. Tait, on reading his Poetical Legends" Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 32 (30 May 1776) 305.



How sweet are the strains of the Muse
Which Nature and Fancy inspire!
Her strains which so softly diffuse
Thro' the bosom each gentle desire!

To thee all the merit belongs;
The nymphs, in the jessamine bower,
With rapture repeat thy soft songs,
And the shepherd confesses their power.

But not to thy numbers alone,
Thy merit, dear youth, we confine,
For our praises would still be thy own,
For thy noble, thy godlike design.

In summer we've oft seen the plain
Burnt up by the sun's pow'rful ray,
But a show'r will revive it again,
And make every object look gay.

And as the soft show'r chears the field,
Which without it had soon been laid waste,
So thy soft-flowing numbers will yield
Relief to the sick and distrest.

Pale Sorrow no longer shall mourn,
The wounded shall rise from his bed,
And the widows and orphans forlorn,
Shall weave a fair wreathe for thy head.

The gods shall thy labours reward,
Thy country to praise thee shall join,
And tho' my esteem and regard
Are trifles, dear shepherd, they're thine.

* By particular desire of the author, the profit arising from this publication are to be paid in to the fund for the relief of his Majesty's sick and wounded troops, and of the widows and orphans of the soldiers slain in America.