1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

W. O., "Impromptu on reading Mr. Hayley's Poetical Epistles" Gentleman's Magazine 52 (December 1782) 591.



HAYLEY was born to rival Pope,
So finely flow his lines!
The Muses' pride, and joy, and hope,
So bright his genius shines!

In HAYLEY'S numbers is disclos'd
A style supremely chaste:
His classic page is all compos'd
Of wit, and sense, and taste.

HAYLEY'S Apollo's favourite son,
Minerva hails him such:
His verse has all her praises won,
And who can praise too much?

HAYLEY was born the Muses' child,
And stole their darling cares:
At his approach the Graces smil'd,
And vow'd to make him theirs.

The Virtues too, of high renown,
Resound their HAYLEY'S name:
And fix'd and honour'd, as their own,
Is his immortal fame.

Ye shining Bards of modern date,
Sweet names of first renown!
Your merits are exceeding great,
But HAYLEY wears the crown.
Marshfield, Dec. 14.