1795 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Thomas Sanderson, "Sonnet to the Right Hon. Edmund Burke" 1795 ca.; Original Poems (1800) 205-06.



While, with insulting view, wild FACTION'S hordes
Point to the spots around thy radiant fame,
The MUSE, more gen'rous to thy honour'd name,
In Glory's page thy civil toils records.
O! mid the shades, that thy own laurels give,
May no unhallow'd foot presume to tread,
But free-born Youths, by BRITAIN'S GENIUS led,
Catch, from thy patriot-breath, the fires that live!
The pageant systems, rais'd on Folly's base,
Illum'd by Speculation's faithless ray,
Before thy brilliant genius fade away,
Like meteor-lights before the solar pow'r;
While FREEDOM twines a deathless wreath to grace
The closing triumphs of thy ev'ning hour!

When this sonnet was written, MR. BURKE had retired from public life, and was living at Beaconsfield, covered with the blushing honours of his country.