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

William Cowper

Anonymous, "Sonnet to the Author of The Task. Written in the life-time of Cowper" 1795 ca.; Port Folio [Philadelphia] 4 (9 June 1804) 183.



COWPER! who now in Weston's favour'd shades,
Serenely seated, dost, with vision clear,
Scan old Ilyssus' haunts, and to the maids
Of Phoebus' train thy name for age endear
By classic song. Ah, rather let our ear
Catch the high rapture of that holier strain,
Which Israel's prophet had rejoic'd to hear
On Horeb's sacred mount, or Salem's plain.
Energic sage! thy pious TASK resume;
Let Homer's verse no longer thine suspend,
With heavenly ray our terrene path illume,
Bid Christian with Maeonian ardours blend.
So round thy laurels still shall palms entwine,
And future ages hail thee — bard divine!