1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Lodinus, "Lines, suggested by a Perusal of the Life of Chatterton" Port Folio [Philadelphia] 4 (1 September 1804) 280.



— And yet there are, who, borne on fortune's tide,
Down the smooth vale of time unconscious glide;
Ne'er dream of wretchedness while they repose,
Nor wake to other cares; to other woes.
And when the north wind rages through the sky,
Withhold from bleeding Poverty a sigh;
Leave those to weep, who, torn from all held dear,
In want and silence shed the frequent tear;
Who, rear'd 'mid Fortune's noon, ill brook the shade,
And feel, with tenfold sense, its damps invade;
Feel more than chilling frost, Neglect's controul,
And all the horrors of a wintry soul.
For ah! how oft from Penury's cold grave,
Nor worth, nor all the power of mind can save.
Condemn'd through life a ceaseless war to wage,
With all the pride and dullness of the age,
Still vain each wish, o'erwhelm'd each hope elate,
Oft Genius sinks desponding to her fate—
Or move th' indignant pensioner of pride,
Her triumphs blazon, nor her spoils divide;
And, wrapt in chilling gloom, ne'er feels the day,
Taught by her hand round happier Wealth to play.
Ah, stern decree! that minds, whom Heav'n inspires
With more than angel thought, than angel fires,
Whose virtues vibrate to the tend'rest tone,
And wake to woe, ere half her woes be known;
From the high boon a sterner fate derive,
And suffer most to suffering most alive!