1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Sheridan

Simonides Pure, "To the Memory of the late accomplished Mrs. Sheridan" New Lady's Magazine 7 (August 1792) 381.



Behold the weeping Muses pensive mourn
In grief around fair Delia's silent urn;
But see a blooming maid, above the rest,
In deeper weeds, and hair with cypress drest;
An unstrung harp her trembling hand sustains,
And thus in notes of woe her voice complains:

"Ah! sister Muses, let your tears flow on,
For Delia, gentle Delia, now is gone!
No more her voice melodious shall arise,
And wing'd on ether, pierce the yielding skies!
No more the notes through these bright groves resound,
And harps immortal quiver to the sound.
No more shall music's god in raptures cry,
'To notes like those what lyre can dare reply.'
No list'ning seraphs bending from the sphere,
Need, wrapt in wonder, hang her voice to hear!
Now earth is vacant, harmony's no more,
Parnassus shades in ebon grief deplore!
Behold the bay, the verdant laurel dies,
See gloomy cypress in the place arise!
The once green palm in withering beauty sink,
Whilst willows shoot on yonder fountain's brink:
Whose waters once, as pearly silver clear,
Now ting'd with black, like Styx's waves appear.
But hark! a sudden shriek of woe ascends,
And join'd with our's, it's murm'ring accents blends:
Ah! 'tis sad Damon, see his form appears
In solemn grief, his eyes all bath'd in tears.
Let us withdraw, the scene too moving grows,
And in some cave repeat our desp'rate woes!
There let us ever Delia's loss deplore,
Till time shall cease, and sorrow be no more."