1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Erasmus Darwin

M. C. S., "Sonnet, occasioned by the expected Edition of Dr. Darwin's beautiful Poem complete" Gentleman's Magazine 61 (Supplement 1791) 1222.



Why, in the Muses' Grove, re-echoing late
With thousand notes that charm'd the list'ning shade,
Shelter and solace sweet for him whose fate
Prompts the pierc'd heart to thought's sequester'd glade;

Why, as with mildew smit, droops every leaf,
That playful wav'd to each inspiring air?
Why slumber, as intranc'd in silent grief,
The melodies that breath'd such raptures there?

Afflicting pause to mock'd Attention's ears!
No more the lyric lark, to greet the ray
Of orient morn, in Mason's song she hears;
No more, at noon, in Hayley's moral lay.

The sober linnet chears the tranquil grove;
No more the nightingale, in Seward's strains,
Pours to the star of eve her hymns of love,
And fills alone the wide-enchanted plains.

DARWIN, arise! in Fancy's arms array'd;
And thrill the silence of the lonely shade.
Dec. 10.