1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Anonymous, "An Ode to the Memory of Chatterton" Town and Country Magazine 17 (March 1785) 158.



Ill fated youth, adieu! was thine a breast
Where fell Despair might fix her dark resolve,
To marr thy simple heart,
And snatch thee from the world?

While Fancy finds a friend, and Genius charms
With eagle-eye and high-aspiring thought,
Thy sainted memory
Shall ever sacred live.

When Spring, with scanty vest and maiden smile,
Leads on the sprightly months and infant year,
Her tears of morning dew
Shall wet thy death-bed cold.

When jocund Summer, with her honied breath,
(Sweetning the golden grain and blythsome gale)
Displays her sun-burnt face
Beneath the hat of straw:

The lily's hanging head, the pansy pale,
Poor Fancy's lowly followers, in meek
Attire, shall deck thy turf
And, withering, lie with thee.

When sober Autumn, with lack-lustre eye,
Shakes, with a bitter blast, the yellow leaf,
And hears the woodman's song,
And early sportsman's foot;

When naked Winter, like a pilgrim grey,
Of veriest rude aspect, and joyless brow,
Calls for the carol wild,
And trims the social fire:

Remembrance oft, in Pity's pensive ear,
At silent eve shall sorrowing toll thy knell,
And tell to after days
Thy tale, thy luckless tale!