1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

Homunculus Lepidissimus, "Lines, incribed in a Blank Leaf of Cowper's Poems, presented to a Lady" Morning Chronicle (1 November 1804).



Not that this hallow'd Bard, tho' deathless Fame
Consigns to glory his immortal name;
Tho' warm'd and kindled by that sacred fire,
Which erst attuned the Royal Hebrew's lyre;
Tho' (o'er his form ELISHA'S mantle throne)
With bright prophetic rays the Poet shone;—
Not that e'en he, tho' blest with song divine,
Can add one virtue to a soul like thine;
With purer flame bid thy affections glow,
Wife, Mother, Friend, nay Angel here below;
Not such the motive of the Gift I send,
As vain indeed were then the promised end:—
But that, admiring in the Poet's lays,
The noble meed which Wit to Virtue pays;
My FRIEND (proud name!) may claim the homage due,
And know that Cowper's praise was meant for you.
October 30.