1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Fragment.

Public Ledger 2 (25 July 1761) 705.

Henry Dell


An imitation of Milton's Il Penseroso recast as a brief retirement ode. Though a violation of the norms for this mode, the poet introduces an artful triplet; he also has an interesting variation on the prophetic passage: "What rapture through the lonely walk | To stray, and with the druids talk; | Through moss-grown wilds, so hoar I deem, | So far remote, they sacred seem." The bookseller Henry Dell, a sometimes contributor to the Public Ledger, was a poet and playwright.



Hence noise and tumult, pomp and power
And vain fantastic joys;
Hence, hence away, to courts repair,
Where the gay scene of trifling toys
To folly's votaries, ever dear,
Consume the precious hour:
Far, far from these, let me remove,
To some sequester'd cot;
Where unconfin'd the bard may rove,
Pleas'd with his happier lot:
Where solitude, companion meet,
And sage reflection, ever sweet,
With contemplation, most to chuse
Attracts the heav'n devoted muse;
Who scorning low, and trifling themes,
Romantic tales or idle dreams;
Delights to range, or thro' the wood,
Or o'er the lawn, in pensive mood,
To meditate on all that's good.
What rapture through the lonely walk
To stray, and with the druids talk;
Through moss-grown wilds, so hoar I deem,
So far remote, they sacred seem:
Here lay me by the lucid streams
Immers'd in more than mortal dreams,
Or silent sit, with stedfast eye
Pore o'er the brook that bubbles by;
Revolving former scenes of folly,
Indulging sacred melancholy;
Or wand'ring o'er my follies past,
Resolve that those shall be my last.

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