1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

Thomas Dermody, "Abbey Effustions. On Seeing Mason's Monument" Poems Moral and Descriptive (1800) 91-93.



While, mid this solemn dome's sequester'd shade,
By venerable virtues sacred made,
With softer awe, I mark, and gentler tread,
One modest modern join the mighty dead,
DRAYTON'S cold cheek a pallid blush betrays,
And learned JONSON trembles for the bays!
Nor may the marble, deck'd by MASON'S name,
Less fervent pray'r, or meaner homage claim,
Tho' round the tuneful Sons of BRITAIN rise,
Where, laurel-wreath'd, his recent model lies.

Yet, once more, oh! ye Bards, on MONA'S steep,
Who, nightly, your mysterious meetings keep,
And wailing o'er the corse of warrior brave,
Moan to the murmur of the troublous wave;
Once more, with your wild warmth, and native fire,
Smite the deep sorrows of the sounding lyre,
While, in the yelling tempest heard afar,
CARACTACUS impels his scythed car,
And issuing, dreadful, from their shadowy shroud,
His fleeting coursers paw the dusky cloud.
The Minstrel, erst, who wheel'd his brave career
"Beyond the visible, diurnal sphere,"
Swift as loose stars their golden orbits leave,
Or, meteors glide aslope a summer-eve,
In quest of flow'rs, that strew th' empyrean way,
Advent'rous bent, I see; — immortal GRAY!
Pure o'er thy bust his lambent glories play:
Lo! modest WHITEHEAD too, to Friendship warm,
(E'en yet her flame illumes his phantom form,)
On thee still fix'd his meek, but ardent eye,
The brother-seraph bends, and wooes thee to the sky.

Oh! lov'd, oh! lost! whose polish'd page no stain
Of flatt'ry knew, or ruder wit profane,
Which rigid Piety might wish effac'd:
Soft, yet sublime, luxuriant, yet chaste,
Long may the BRITISH youth, whose skill would raise
Perfection, worthy of succeeding days,
Here led; (his eyes suffus'd with generous dew,)
The honors of departed worth to view,
Awefully touch'd, breathe forth the sigh sincere,
Admire the POET, and is ART revere!