1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

Thomas Park, "On receiving, as a posthumous Memoiral, a pair of green-glass Spectacles, which had belonged to the Author of The Task" Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1803 (1805) 337.



Not that there needed, venerable bard!
Aught more impressive, than the gifted page
To guard thy memory, or to latest age
Rivet the fond remembrance that I shar'd
Thy friendly thought; and thy benign regard
Unshaken held. More could not need, meek sage!
My life-long glow of reverence to engage,
Or leave thy lov'd idea unimpair'd.
Yet precious is the relique which did shade
Thy living temples from "excess of light,"
While Fancy round each emerald circlet play'd,
While Genius flash'd beneath the mimic night,
And Hope, star-crested, shot a lucent ray,
To light earth's pilgrim on his heaven-ward way.

The "gifted page" alludes to a copy of Mr. Cowper's Poems received from the author.