1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

J. G., "Stanzas, most respectfully inscribed to Mr. Pratt" Select Reviews and Spirit of the Foreign Magazines [Philadelphia] 2 (December 1809) 427.



Sweet flower! that deck'st the river's brink,
Bending to every boisterous gale,
Array'd in summer's lively pink,
From whom the bees existence drink,
As on thy bosom they regale,

Why dost thou here in silence dwell,
Secluded from the garden flowers?
Why leave the tribes of yonder dell,
Whose glaring tints profusely swell,
And spend alone the lingering hours?

When storms deface the laughing sky,
And thunders shake the vaulted air,
When lightnings thro' the vaulted air,
No friend, my charming flower! is nigh,
Thy matchless properties to spare!

Then vain indeed thy graceful mien,
And all thy attributes will prove!
In vain shall sorrow intervene,
Thy charms so modestly serene,
To shelter from the storms above!

Then tell me, flower, why thus alone
Thou lov'st in solitude to shroud!
Does malice on thy features frown,
Because they're chaster than her own,
Or dost thou hate the crowd?

"Alas! my friend! this lonely spot
Has long my favourite station been;
Here to the garden-tribe forgot,
Their joys incestuously hot,
I breathe the air of health serene!

"Besides, the splendour of their dress,
Outshines too much my languid hue;
Nor will the moans of weak distress,
Excite in them one fond caress,
Howe'er my friend they may in you."

Then since 'tis thus, my sweetest flower!
Come! let me bear thee far away,
Where neither haughty pride nor power,
Can on thy matchless beauties lower,
Or spurn thy indigent array.

Thus genius blest with every grace,
To triumph o'er the human heart,
Withdraws to some sequestered place,
The mighty works of time to trace,
Unknown to all the schemes of art.

Thus PRATT with kind paternal care,
Smiles on the pure poetick FLOWER;*
Retrieves it from the desert bare,
To thrive in more salubrious air,
And flourish with the circling hour!
Grafton-street, August, 1809.

* Joseph Blacket