1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Wordsworth

Francis Hodgson, "Hush a Bye! Baby Bye! by W. W." Leaves of Laurel; or New Probationary Odes, for the Vacant Laureatship (1813) 14-15.



"A child so small, I cannot tell
How small she was indeed,
Met me, while walking in the dell,
That's nigh to Pinner mead.
She pull'd me by the coat; and oh!
She look'd, as if she wish'd I go,
Where stood a cottage in the lane
That borders upon Pinner plain.
I went with her — and then she said,
'The Poet Laureat, P—e, is dead.'
Ah me! I answer'd sad; and so
We reach'd the little house of woe.

"The wicker gate was open'd wide,
The flowers were trodden down beside;
It look'd, as if some friend had past
Eager on P—e to look his last.
I know not — but I heav'd a sigh—
The little child stood weeping by.

"We enter'd at the cottage door,
And saw the man who was no more.
That child — I never will forsake her—
Though sneer'd at by the undertaker"—

With a pitiful sob here the story broke off,
And heard-hearted they felt who were tempted to scoff;
There was something so good in the bard, yet so silly,
That you lov'd him and laugh'd at him, willy nilly.