1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hamilton Reid

William Hamilton Reid, "To the Author of the Sonnet addressed to him" New London Magazine 3 (March 1787) 155.



In the gratefullest strain with sincerest intent,
Accept a return to your late compliment,
Your muse hath expanded such glittering wings,
Such conclusions she's drawn from so many fine things,
That the moment I read it I could not forbear,
From leaping and bounding aloft in the air;
But soon to my cost I reluctantly found,
That necessity forc'd me again to the ground,
And that sonnet, or song, or eulogium fine,
No matter affords for a poet to dine;
And in spite of the fates with submission I tell ye,
My muse's barometer's ever the belly.

But true friendship to prove from the counterfeit hue,
Be it known to the sensible generous few,
To encourage the bard a subscription's on foot,
To which he presumes your initials you'll put:
If such favour's acquir'd from each fostering hand,
His ideas in consequence far may expand,
And his muse fresh inspir'd from fair Virtue's blest cause,
In some higher departments command your applause.
Union Court, Holborn.