1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

A Young Lady of Boston, "Lines, occasioned by reading the Life of Henry Kirk White" Rhode-Island Repository 1 (October 1814) 389.



I saw a drop whose trembling ray
Was bosom'd by a flower.
A sun-beam drew the gem away,
But Fancy in its gentle sway
Pursu'd it to a brighter day,
Gilding a fairer bower.

I saw a star whose sparkling beam,
Nature had fondly given.
I view'd it in the blue sky stream,
And as I watch'd its parting gleam,
Imagination's wakeful gleam,
Pursu'd its flight to heaven.

I heard a strain of musick steal
On evening's sacred hour,
Giving that bliss which few can feel,
It ceased — but fancy still reveal'd
That rising to a lovelier field,
It charm'd a higher power.

Thus Henry trembled for a time
On earth's fast fading bloom;
Then died — but now a gem divine
Has triumph'd o'er the tomb.

Thus Henry shed his sparkling gleam
On fortune's changeful sky,
Then fled — but blest with brighter beams,
He shines a star on high.

Thus Henry's strains of sweetness, stole
On each enraptur'd ear:
Then ceased — but now a purer soul
He sings, and Angels hear.

The gem that sweetly trembles now,
The stars that gild the sky,
Soft musick, soothing sorrow's brow,
Must quickly fade and die.—
The soul alone will ne'er decay,
But sparkle in eternal day.