1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Rushton

James Gilland, "On reading the Poems of Edward Rushton" 1806; Belfast Monthly Magazine 12 (June 1814) 417.



Let other bards attune the venal lyre,
Lease out its voice, and touch its strings for hire,
By other hands poetic wreaths be twin'd,
To crown some conquering murderer of mankind—
Here purer themes employ the peaceful page,
No trumpets bray, no rushing hosts engage,
No venal flattery stains these honest lays,
Unawed they censure, and unbought they praise.

Ye in whose generous breasts the voice of woe,
Bids feeling melt, or indignation glow,
As your fixed minds, the opening story leads,
As vengeance rouses, or as pity pleads,
Turn to his glowing thoughts, his breathing lines,
Where genius' fire, with judgment's strength combines,
To rule truth's subjects by poetic laws,
And marshal fiction's powers in virtue's cause;
And as your eyes his pictur'd scenes survey,
And your heart owns the moral of his lay,
The minds pure purpose in its offspring scan,
And in his fancy's wand'rings read the man.

There trace a soul to generous feeling true,
That can the path where honor points pursue,
Spirit unbending, still to truth allied,
Pure from each stain of prejudice or pride;
A heart improv'd, expanded, unconfin'd,
Glowing with equal love for all mankind,
That meets a censuring world without a fear,
And spite of fortune dares to be sincere.
November, 1806.