1800 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Farewell to Joy.

The Harp of Erin, containing the Poetical Works of the Late Thomas Dermody. In Two Volumes. [James G. Raymond, ed.]

Thomas Dermody


Four "Rowley" Spenserians (ababbcdcdD): a companion poem to "Farewell to Care": Come, Sadness, then, and thy companion, Care, | And all the fiends that crowd the couch of Death: | Let the black cypress crown my unkimpt hair, | With deadly hemlock twined, the sweetest wreath." Thomas Dermody's expectation that fame would follow his death came to pass, though even his posthumous fame proved short-lived.

Preface to Poems Moral and Descriptive (1800): "As for the smaller pieces which follow, though not added 'to raise the volume's price a shilling,' I cannot expatiate very largely on their portion of correctness, or desert. Certainly, they are not much inferior to those ephemeral essays which decorate the leaves of a Magazine, such s these publications, now, appear to be. Yet, formerly, their miscellaneous insipidity was enlivened by the fine, fairy effusions of Collins, the plaintive and picturesque simplicity of Cunningham, or the descriptive enchantment of Mickle" v-vi.



Bright smiles the orient with celestial red,
The fleecy clouds their golden skirts display,
Thick phalanx'd tress enclothe the mountain head,
And groves luxuriant wanton in the ray.
Ah me! can those for mis'ries dire repay,
And call the brilliant scenes for ever fled?
Can the bright orient's rosy smile impart
The balm of hope, or dews of comfort shed?
Can trees thick-phalanx'd, groves luxuriant, dart
Contentment's glowing beam, and close my bleeding heart?

Still shall I load with sighs the sobbing gale,
Still murmur to the riv'let's solemn flow,
Tell the dull ear of night my piteous tale,
And bid still ev'ning weep upon my woe.
My myrtle plants, alas! are with'ring low,
My roseate wreaths no more fresh sweets exhale;
Sorrow, and blank despair, have marr'd their bloom:
My laurels droop in harsh oblivion's vale.
Ah! never shall they rise but on my tomb:
Ah! never, but in heav'n, disperse their bland perfume.

Come, Sadness, then, and thy companion, Care,
And all the fiends that crowd the couch of Death:
Let the black cypress crown my unkimpt hair,
With deadly hemlock twined, the sweetest wreath.
Let nought but savage woes around me breathe,
Nought but the death-watch greet my sullen ear:
For I pre-eminence of grief may claim.
Oft shall fond memory pour the heart-drawn tear;
While woe congenial pauses on my fame,
And dumb Despair point out my long-lamented name.

Where the romantic cliff, like Ruin's throne,
Hangs o'er the dashing surge with awful steep;
Where unseen spirits heave the dismal groan,
And distant elves are often heard to weep;
Where shiv'ring corpses leave their haunted sleep,
Seen by the moon's affrighted eye alone;
There let me moulder with the mould'ring ground,
For brother-bards, and tuneful souls, long gone,
Shall glad with melody the wilds around;
And fairies mark my grave, with mountain-garlands crown'd.

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