A Spenserian sonnet, dedicating the History of Bayard to Frederick Howard (1748-1825) fifth earl of Carlisle and viceroy of Ireland, 1780-82; Howard was himself a poet. The History is introduced by a "Dissertation on Chivalry" taken from French sources. This is the first of a number of Spenserian sonnets published by the Irish poet Joseph Sterling.
Bayard, whose mem'ry virtue's tears embalm,
Must high-born HOWARD's kind indulgence claim;
In glory's field he won the knightly palm,
Applauding nations seal the heroes' fame,
Nor e'er shall dark oblivion blot his name;
Th' historic muse shall blazon his renown,
Bright shall it shine — an unextinguished flame,
Unfading lawrels shall the warrior crown,
Without a cloud his radiant sun went down:
Great was his courage in his country's cause,
The plume of war — he fear'd no hostile frown,
His sword maintain'd fair honor's strictest laws:
Such BAYARD was, and such, would CARLISLE be,
Were this the age of arms, and chivalry.
[facing Sig. A1]