1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Seward

W. M. T., "To Anna Seward, on reading her Sonnets, Louisa, &c." The Cabinet 3 (March 1808) 205-06.



Thee, Seward, long my youthful mind's rever'd,
Thy varied verse, and rapture-breathing line
By feeling, taste, and elegance endear'd!
For these my silent praise hath long been thine!

Thou seiz'd the muse's most neglected lyre,
And from its chords, thus touch'd, such notes did flow,
As wake young Fancy's wild enchanting fire,
Or mildly soothe the throbbing breast of woe.

Thou swept'st it — and no more the critic's frown
Shall doom its beauties to oblivion drear;
For, form'd by thee, its bold energic tone
Will aye to Genius' pensive son be dear.

Led by the Muse, charm'd by her visions wild,
In youth thou stray'd'st o'er plain and tangled dell,
And whilst with fondest gaze, she on thee smil'd,
Awok'st to Nature's voice the chorded shell.

Life's ebb's began, but not in thee decays
The sacred fire, the poet's glowing soul,
Still beam their influence in thy raptur'd lays,
Still round thine head their fairy visions roll.

Still doth thine ardent mind possess the pow'r,
Existence to prolong beyond the tomb;
And when the world's vain pageants are no more,
The amaranth wreath by Genius given shall bloom.

Then oh! if aught a simple youth can form,
Might what he's felt in thy bold song repay;
Seward! accept this verse, whose only charm
Is, that warm gratitude inspires the lay!
Liverpool.