1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Shenstone

John F. M. Dovaston, "Shenstone's Yew, brought from a Seedling from the Leasowes, August 1806" 1806; Poems (1825) 191-92.



Young offspring of an aged tree
That erst o'er Shenstone rear'd its head,
That wav'd in wild luxuriance free,
And deck'd it's boughs with berries red,
O grace my little grove retir'd,
As he of Friendship grac'd the sphere;
So shalt thou be of Taste admir'd,
So shalt thou stand to Mem'ry dear.

Hereafter 'neath thy sable shade
To him the votive urn I'll raise;
Nor shall trim Folly's ruthless blade
E'er dare to clip thy graceful sprays.
And here shall bard unborn recline
To pay to him the tribute due;
And genius shall be proud to shine
Beneath the shade of Shenstone's yew.

But, yew-tree, if at eve or dawn
Hither some nymph should haply turn,
And wail of Love to Heav'n withdrawn,
Or for unvalued Friendship mourn;
Bid her to yonder cot repair
Where willows weep and flow'rets twine;
With mine her tale of woe compare,
And mix her melting tears with mine.

There music soft to Shenstone's strain
Shall join for us her soothing pow'rs;
Nor shall his woes be sung in vain
If they but steal a pang from ours.
Departed bard! — A friendly part
Has he in plaintive numbers shewn,—
—To ease another's aching heart
He sung the sorrows of his own.