1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

Cleonicus, "Lines on the late celebrated Author, Mrs. Charlotte Smith" Lady's Monthly Museum NS 1 (December 1805) 286-88.



Farewell, thou common friend of all mankind,
For thee an humble stranger sheds a tear,
For thee he breathes a hope that thou may'st find
That bliss above, which was denied thee here.

Though not like thee he strikes the Muses' lyre,
Though not like thee he invocates the lay,
He asks no more, would aught his verse inspire
Around thy sun to shed another ray.

The moral ever by thy pen convey'd,
The fond instructions which adorn'd each page,
Will live, when all thy other charms shall fade,
And gain th' applause of each succeeding age.

When Gallia's sons, by tyranny opprest,
Threw off the yoke which power had impos'd,
Each page thy love of liberty confest,
Each line thy universal love disclos'd.

But when a faction, with despotic sway,
Spread war and anarchy throughout the clime,
Bade murder tear each sacred tie away,
And cloak with liberty the horrid crime;

When disunited by a cruel band,
The wretched victim of misguided rage
Sought for protection in our happy land,
To shield them from the horrors of the age,

Thy "Banish'd Man" stept forward to obtain
From every liberal and feeling mind,
Reversal of the envy and disdain
Which the unfortunate too often find.

Like softest music floating on the breeze
Swept from the string of an Aeolian lyre,
Thy poetry could lull the soul to ease,
And rapture in the dullest heart inspire.

Creation's beauties ever thy delight,
Sooth'd oftentimes the sorrows of thy breast,
Where pleasure and instruction would unite,
To ease insensibly an heart opprest.

For youth thy care maternal has design'd
Those simple lessons which instruct and please,
Which future readers often shall remind
Of her, who long before has slept in peace.

In thy fictitious mourner we can trace
The real motives which thy pen inclin'd,
To lash a sordid and unfeeling race,
Who misapply the blessings of mankind.

A Stafford suffering the frowns of fate,
A Denzil struggling through the life of care,
Reveal, in moving turns, the hapless state
Which few, if any, could so ably bear.

Thy course through life has been a troubled scene,
Much like the sun upon a misty day,
Which, though awhile a cloud may intervene,
At parting shines with clear and settled ray.

So may thy sun in future splendour rise,
A lasting splendour, evermore to live;
And may thou taste that bliss, beyond the skies,
Which this uncertain world can never give.