1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Shenstone

B—, "On reading a certain passage in the Life of Shenstone" New Lady's Magazine 2 (September 1787) 490.



Ill-fated bard! unjustly doom'd to prove
The mighty pain of disappointed love!
Though purest passion thy fond breast inspir'd—
Though all thy soul heroic ardor fir'd—
Though every virtue that can bless mankind
Shone in thy actions, and adorn'd thy mind;
Yet (cruel fate!) in vain such merit strove
To win, by gentlest means, a fair-one's love.
In vain he try'd the magic of his art,
And sung, like dying swans, the anguish of his heart,
How sweet his voice! — how soft his numbers flow'd!
All ears were thrill'd — each breast with pity glow'd!
Save her's alone for whom he struck the lyre,
And sung responsive with poetic fire;
She, cruel maid! unmov'd the poet hears,
Spurns matchless worth, and draws from merit tears!
Castle Hedingham, Essex.