1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

Luke Booker, "Lines, inscribed to the Author of The Pleasures of Memory" Gentleman's Magazine 62 (September 1792) 847.



Long live the bard! and, on the lists of Fame,
In living lustre be enroll'd his name,
Who, to a lyre — by heav'nly fingers strung,
"Imagination's Pleasures" sweetly sung.

And equal be his meed, whose equal strain
(Caroll'd serenely on the village-plain)
Rehearses, with a melody refin'd,
The treasur'd joys of the reflective mind;
Tells how the heart can pierce the drowning wave,
And make the friend we lov'd survive the grave;
Brings each past scene of bliss again to view,
And long-lost comforts teaches to renew;
Who erst display'd such bright poetic fire
When Superstition's horrors wak'd the lyre.
Then, in life's morn, he pour'd th' enrapturing song,
And loftiest numbers roll'd — majestic from his tongue.

Such earnest of his future strength display'd
The young Alcides, in his cradle laid,
When (sent by vengeful Juno's wounded pride)
In his nerv'd grasp the writhing serpents died.

Such earnest of his future lofty flight
Th' imperial bird affords th' astonish'd sight,
When from his nest he boldly dares to rise,
And sails sublimely thro' the yielding skies.

Bless'd be the bard! and, on the heights of Fame,
May Fancy braid her garlands round his name!
Like his own numbers (smooth as summer stream
When crimson'd o'er with Phoebus' setting beam),
May all his moments unembitter'd flow,
Nor aught of care or lasting mis'ry know!
But may each hour serenely glide away,
And Memory's Pleasures crown his latest day!