1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Smith

D., "Lines on the late Miss Elizabeth Smith, written at Night, Dec. 20th, 1815" The Portico [Baltimore] 1 (March 1816) 260-61.



Is hush'd that Lyre so oft inspir'd?
Its tones for ever pass'd away?
Is that fair form, by genius fired,
Condemn'd so soon to cold decay?

Alas! e'en now, the night winds sweep
The spot where silent rests her head,
And sigh along the grassy heap,
Which marks her cold, her lonely bed.

But pensive oft shall virtues friend
Approach, in tears, her simple tomb,
And genius o'er her ashes bend,
To mourn a sister's early doom.

To cull the flow'rs of ancient lore,
Hold converse with th' illustrious dead,
The paths of science to explore,
As fancy, taste, or judgment led.

Or pensive muse in woodland shade,
Or climb at eve the breezy steep,
To view the distant mountains fade,
And watch the landscape sink to sleep.

These were her sweetest pleasures here,
On these her spirit lov'd to dwell;
On these, to genius oft too dear!
Alas! she felt its force too well.

Her bosom felt the sacred flame,
To human nature seldom given;
Too bright alas! for mortal frame,
Her gentle spirit fled to heaven.