1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

E. W., "Lines written after reading Southey's Remains of Henry Kirke White" Lady's Monthly Museum NS 10 (February 1811) 118.



Thy living worth it was not mine to prize,
I heard not of thee till thy star had set;
But, dead, I give thee tears, poor youth, and sighs,
And thoughts of tender, mournful, keen, regret!
And I do say, within my very heart
Resolving, some sear, murky, autumn day,
When spirits less congenial hold apart,
A sorrowing pilgrim, to thy grave I'll stray,
And hang my humble meed of poesy
Upon thy sainted tomb, and worship thee—
'Twere weak, alas! and idly vain for thee!
Thine ear now only lists to minstrelsy
Paean'd by cherub quires! But to me,
'Twould be some little sweet to breathe an air
Of melancholy, and, half-murmuring, cry
Great God! the wicked live — the virtuous mourn and die!

And thou, his Mother, on whose fost'ring breast
Were cradled his first cares; whose after love
(Ah! in such holy love be childhood blest,
For ever blest,) his mental wants supplied—
Whose better hopes, and sense more quick, confest
His dawning genius, and its high behest,
Aye, in some glory, cherish'd — thee I hail!
Not with the selfish, worldly mass, who move
In mincing measures, only with the gale
Of prosperous fame; but when low sinks thy heart
In dark and silent solitude, apart,
Deep mourning him who is not; in thy wail
O then my spirit joins — my tears they flow,
And I do almost drink thy cup of woe!
Stockton upon Tees.