1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

De Willoughby, "Sonnet to Mr. Cowper, Author of the Task, &c." Gentleman's Magazine 70 (June 1800) 565.



To thee, sweet Bard! my votive wreath I bring,
Cull'd from the vernal flow'rs; nor thou refuse
The grateful tribute of a humble Muse;
Unseen, unknown to thee, she still will sing;
While o'er fair Isis' willow'd banks she strays,
Or, when the morn begins to tinge yon tow'r,
Or evening glimmers o'er the silent bow'r,
To thee her strains of gratitude she pays,
Where oft the magic of thy sacred lay
Hath calm'd my breast; where, oft by pity led,
At thy sad tale full many a tear I've shed,
While down the vale I guide my pensive way.
Hail, heav'n-born Muse! thy tuneful numbers flow
The guard of Virtue, and to Vice a foe.
June 2.