1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

Mrs. Cornwell Baron Wilson, "Stanzas suggested by hearing a Person assert that H. K. White did not merit the Degree of Fame he had acquired" La Belle Assemblee NS 29 (March 1824) 117.



And dost thou grudge the wreath of FAME,
Upon the minstrel's grave to lie?
And dost thou grudge the POET'S name,
To him, thus early doom'd to die?
Alas! — the child of genius knows,
How dearly are such honours won—
By faded cheeks — by lost repose—
By life extinguish'd ere begun!

Beside his lamp, at midnight hour,
Learning's pale martyr sat, and kept
Vigils of soul-inspiring power,
While those less gifted slept.
'Twas then, he turn'd the classic page,
When favouring SILENCE reign'd around;
Then pored o'er many an ancient sage,
And trod on sacred ground!

Yes! 'twas in midnight's hallowing gloom,
Wasting life's dim and feeble fire,
The POET dug his early tomb,
And 'woke his plaintive lyre!
Then, — his heart burn'd o'er HOMER'S theme,
Or wept with Briton's matchless child,
By AVON'S fairy-haunted stream,
Echoing his "wood-notes wild!"

None but the child of genius knows
How dearly are such honours won—
By faded cheeks — by lost repose—
By life extinguished ere begun!
Then, do not grudge the wreath of FAME
Upon her HENRY'S grave to lie;
Like spring's first flowers, the POET came,
To blossom — and to die!
Woburn Place, Russell Square.