1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Thomas Percy

James McHenry, "An Ode written after a Visit at Dromore House, in May 1808" Bard of Erin (1808) 45-50.



Where yonder bowers the haunts disclose,
Of Genius cloth'd in every grace;
Where, from religion's fountain flows
Benev'lence to the human race;
How glow'd the Muse's heart to rove,
Each winding glen and shady grove,
Where PERCY'S taste to nature true,
Is seen, is felt, at every view;
Where Coleman oft, in ancient days,
Confirm'd the Pilgrim's faith, and fir'd the Poet's lays.

Thou Spirit of the place arise!
I see thee o'er the sacred Well!
Does Coleman's self salute mine eyes,
The tales of other times to tell;
Or wakes some bard of kindred glow,
Such sweet instruction to bestow!
Draw not the veil that covers o'er,
Full many a saint and sage of yore;
I sing the Friends whom PERCY loves,
Who now delight to range, amid these happy groves.

Lo, through yon glade I see from far,
The Bard who weaves in rapid strains,
The tyrant's doom, the spoils of war,
The carnage of embattl'd plains;
And oft he makes the numbers flow,
Where streamlets glide and meadows grow,
And bids each lawn, and grove, and glen,
Yield twice their native sweets to men!
With rapture, LAGAN'S stream I view,
Smooth roll his classic tide thro' fairy scenes he drew!

See him, with cheerful sapient mien,
Nature reflected from his eye,
Who wanders o'er the smiling green,
And marks each charm he passes by!
Soon to the canvas sheet resign'd,
He'll yield their beauties all combin'd!
And, lo! his son, whose infant lays
Have reap'd the meed of ripest praise,
Behold he sweeps his youthful lyre,
With still encreasing warmth transmitted from his sire!

Ah! where the youth, who knew so well,
Th' emotions of the heart to sway;
Who made these woods the praises tell,
Of ANNA, lovely "Queen of May!"
He's gone to bowers of lasting rest;
He tunes his lyre amongst the blest!
When then, O Robinson, that sigh!
Thy youthful friend could never die:
Ye yet shall meet in realms above,
And tune angelic harps, to friendship and to love!

Lo, comes! with venerable gait,
The Patron of the illustrious train,
Attendant spirits round him wait,
To bless the father of the plain!
A something in his looks appears,
Inspiring love for other years!
The Priest, the Saint, the Bard, the Sage
In him combin'd adorn the age!
And WARKWORTH'S tale, so sweetly told,
Like PERCY makes us love the generous deeds of old.

O blest Retreats! where such are seen,
To pour the treasures of the mind;
Long midst your shades may they convene,
And spread instruction o'er mankind!
Would they, whose fame shall ne'er decline,
Lights of the land that still shall shine;
Would they permit the simple swain,
That weaves for them this votive strain,
To join their sacred, social choir,
What joy should warm his heart, what gratitude inspire!