1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

William Cook, in The Pleasures of Conversation (1822) 80-81.



GOLDSMITH, whose moral, sweet, descriptive quill,
Pure as the fount on Aganippe's hill,
Displayed the talents of a virtuous muse,
With all the graces poets should infuse,
How oft, dear Bard of Auburn, have we strayed
Round London's purlieus in the summer shade,
Then at the Grecian closed our rambling day
With wits and templars in the social way,
Where mirth and observation's pleasing powers
Illumed and vivified the fleeting hours?
How oft I have seen the rays of nature start
Warm and impressive from thy honest heart,
In careless phrases — sometimes unrefin'd,
Yet all th' effusions of a pregnant mind.

Adieu! dear Bard! and tho' 'tis many a year
Since fate has stopp'd thy muse's bright career,
Still Memory whispers with a grateful tongue,
How Reynolds painted — and how Goldsmith sung;
Still to my ear thy warbling lyre conveys
The fond memorials of thy well earned praise,
Alleviates still the loss it could not save,
And draws one comfort from th' oblivious grave;
A comfort — time — nor accident shall rend,
In feeling such a poet was my friend.