1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

Anonymous, "To the Memory of Henry Kirke White" Port Folio [Philadelphia] NS 7 (May 1812) 499-500.



Green springs the turf on Henry's grave,
And fairer flow'rs successive rise;
Soft vernal show'rs its bosom lave,
And Zephyrs sport where Genius lies.

Does Nature seek her gifts to pour
On her fond vot'ry's lowly bed?
Ah! never poet lov'd her more,
Or plac'd more garlands on her head.

Yet here will weeping Friendship dwell,
And to its sad and tearful eye,
Less gaudy scenes might suit as well,
Less vernal bloom, less azure sky.

Let not the youthful poet say,
That Nature mourns where Virtue sleeps;
For here the dancing sun-beams play,
And here the moon her night-watch keeps.

And be it so; nor will we grieve
That life returns to him who gave;
'Tis ours to hope, submit, believe,
And fix our view beyond the grave.

Poet belov'd! and could'st thou think
Thy worth would ever be forgot?
Virtue must sure of Lethe drink,
When her lov'd child's remember'd not.

Lie gently, earth, upon that breast
Which sought thy treasures to explore;
Who oft was seen thy kneeling guest;
Who gaz'd, untir'd, thy landscapes o'er.

And Learning, too, wilt thou despise
The first-love of his op'ning youth;
For thee he breath'd his early sighs,
And worshipp'd thee with zeal and truth.

But soon a brighter object came;
With stronger love his bosom glow'd—
Immortal Glory blew the flame,
And pointed to her upward road.

Peace, such as holy angels know,
Sooth'd life's last fleeting pulse away;
And ere his eye had clos'd below,
His spirit melted into day.