1751
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled, "Ah me! that tenderest Minds should thus be torn."]

Epicedia Oxoniensia in Obitum Celsissimi et Desideratissimi Frederici Principis Walliae.

Philip Rashleigh


The second of two sonnets in which Philip Rashleigh morns the passing of the Prince of Wales: "All vain, I ween, the Muses lenient Power; | If Heaven support not, hopeless must She grieve."

Earl R. Wasserman: both "employ some of Spenser's diction and variants of the Spenserian form: ababbababcbdd and ababbabacdcdeE" Elizabethan Poetry in the Eighteenth Century (1947) 151n.



Ah Me! that tenderest Minds should thus be torn,
Too soft to act the rough heroick Part?
Why heaves with sighs that gentle Breast forlorn?
The gentlest Breast that e'er felt sorrow's Dart!
O Grief! O wound to every virtuous Heart!
Where shall the fair imperial Mourner turn?
With what soft balm allay the festering Smart,
New to the conflict, and untaught to mourn?
Say, shall the Muse with lenient strains relieve?
All vain, I ween, the Muses lenient Power;
If Heaven support not, hopeless must She grieve:
O Heaven! support her in this dreary Hour;
Angels! in gentlest Whispers sooth her Ear,
Tell, that from Heav'n You came, and her own FREDERIC'S there!

[Sig. Ii]