1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Charles Graham, in "To the Memory of James Thomson, Author of The Seasons" Gentleman's Magazine 66 (Supplement, 1796) 1102.



Bard of the Seasons, hail! thou who hast oft
Impress'd with energy and reas'ning strong,
Upon my youthful mind, poetic truths,
The tend'rest sympathies, the purest flame,
The love of order, and the soul of song!
Smit with sincerest gratitude, the Muse
Would fain attempt her humble voice to raise
Thy praise to sing, thy genuine worth applaud,
And blend the Christian's with the Poet's praise.

But why should I in this great task engage?
Where find resources for the high design?
Great Hayley! thou who lead'st the tuneful band,
Say, why neglect a nation's debt to pay?
Record in numbers worthy of thy Muse
The Poet of the Seasons? Beattie! thou
Whose Minstrel raises thee in high esteem,
Say, why unsung thy fav'rite Thomson's praise?

Since none of you have yet essay'd the song,
Permit an humble Bard, unknown to fame,
A Muse unbred in academic shades,
In untaught strains to wake the sleeping lyre.

But where begin? where all the beauties trace
That charm the youthful fancy? Where but in
His transcript of the Seasons? There we view
The animated verse; the fervid thought;
The just and pleasing metaphor, that steals
In grateful raptures o'er th' enamour'd heart....