ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
J. W., "Inscription to Shenstone's Muse, cut out on a large romantic Oak, hanging from a Clift in the Side of a woody Hill" Edinburgh Magazine or Literary Amusement 48 (22 April 1780) 78.
1737: William Shenstone
1749: Lady Luxborough
1750 ca.: Rev. Richard Graves
1751: Rev. Richard Jago
1755: Robert Dodsley
1756: John Scott Hylton
1758: Alexander Carlyle
1759: James Woodhouse
1760: Edward Cooper
1760: Rev. Richard Graves
1761: Mrs. John Thomas
1763: Edward Cooper
1763: Rev. Richard Graves
1763: John Cunningham
1763: Edward Cooper
1763: Mary Darwall
1763 ca.: A Lady
1763: Dr. S.
1763: T. H.
1764: Rev. John Langhorne
1765: Cuthbert Shaw
1765: John Oakman
1766: John Scott of Amwell
1769: Thomas Gray
1771: William Roscoe
1771: Rev. Richard Graves
1772: Rev. John Ball
1773: Thomas Lyttleton
1774: Samuel Jackson Pratt
1774: Charles Graham
1776: Rev. Thomas Maurice
1778: Richard Tickell
1778: Old Robin
1779: J. M.
1779: Menassah Dawes
1780: J. W.
1782: Samuel Johnson
1783: Edmond Malone
1784: De Sp—do
1785: H. R.
1787: Robert Burns
1788: John Williams
1789: A Bard of the Wrekin
1791: Isaac D'Israeli
1792: Anna Seward
1792: John Bennet
1793: J. H. C.
1793: Captain John Majoribanks
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1797: Mr. Mott
1798: Anna Seward
1802: George Dyer
1805: Thomas Park
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1806: John F. M. Dovaston
1807: Robert Southey
1808: Anne Grant
1812: A. F.
1814: John Hamilton Reynolds
1814: James Jennings
1815: William Wordsworth
1818: William Hazlitt
1818: David Parkes
1823: David Parkes
1823: T. H.
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1829: Anna Brownell Jameson
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1836: Hartley Coleridge
1836: L. L.
1842: C. H. Timperley
1855 ca.: Rev. John Mitford
1859: Leigh Hunt
1880: George Saintsbury
1882: Epes Sargent
1910: Ralph Straus
1695: Michael Drayton
1740: Rev. Isaac Watts
1773: John Cunningham
1778: Gen. John Burgoyne
1779: Bp. Robert Lowth
1780: William Shenstone
1782: James Beattie
1800: Elizabeth Montagu
1814: Robert Southey
No sculptur'd urn, or votive shrine,
No grotto weeping fragrant dews,
No dryads sylvan bower is mine,
To court my Shenstone's tender muse.
But tho' nor wealth's seductive glare,
Nor titled lineage gild my race;
Tho' fortune frown'd with wrathful air,
And spurn'd me from her warm embrace.
Yet could she not my soul divest
Of gentle fancy's raptur'd eye,
Or steal my young untutor'd breast
To glowing passion's plaintive cry.
And sure in thy mellifluous strain
The vivid warmth of fancy glows;
And passion's sweet pathetic vein,
Thro' each immortal number flows.
For who like thee could strike the lyre,
Or softly breathe the rural song,
When rapt, with all the Muses' fire,
Thy carrols hush'd the woodland throng?
Tho' Phillis on her lover frown'd,
And heard his lay with callous heart,
The ravish'd swains conven'd around
Oft felt the magic of his art.
For thee each shepherd thin'd his fold,
Of wealth's unstable gifts profuse,
And woo'd thy smile with proferr'd gold—
But thine was not a venal muse.
Like them, inspir'd with duteous love,
This venerably nodding tree,
The giant of the pensile grove,
Sweet bard! I consecrate to thee.
Its boughs let no rude school-boy climb,
Its stem no vagrant heifer gore;
Forbear, ye swains, with rustic rhyme
To lacerate its hallow'd core.
And let no foul envenom'd grains
No sacrilegious worm be near,
Gnawing, to sap its filmy veins,
Or even its spreading foliage tear.
And could I, Time, puissant thing!
The scythe of ruin wrest from thee,
Then should eternal verdure spring,
To crown my Shenstone's hallow'd tree.
Hither ye plumy tribes repair,
And India's balmy fragrance bring,
Its blossoms tend with fost'ring care,
And lap its buds with downy wing.
Ye minstrels of the vernal day!
Your throats in sweetest concord join,
The bard, perchance, to hear the lay,
Awhile may leave the sister nine.
Ye limpid streams that nurse the plains,
Your welling waters hither lead,
And thro' the Oak's diffusive veins
Your kind prolific moisture shed.
Let Flora here her roses strew,
And with her tulips paint the green,
And dapper elves that mock our view
Trip lightly o'er the shady scene.
Ye sister oaks, your arms combine
To shield it from the nipping cold,
Ye elms, your pliant tendrils twine,
And Shenstone's hallow'd tree enfold.
And 'neath its umbrage let me lie,
When modest twilight dims the scene,
And Phoebe from the orient sky
Emits her silver ray serene.
And here with Shenstone's genius fraught,
To emulate his lay aspire,
His tender lay! — an, frantic thought!
For who like thee could strike the lyre?
But yet, shouldst thou the Dorian reed
To my untutor'd hands consign,
Propitious fame might grant the meed,
And round my brow her chaplet twine.
Then, thankful for the gracious boon,
My heart should pour the choral song,
Each pendant cliff should catch the tune,
And roll the artless notes along.
These, these are joys that never pall
To rouse the poet's dormant fire,
And at the aiding Muse's call,
Like tender SHENSTONE touch the lyre.