1796
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sympathy, to Julia.

Poetic Effusions; pastoral, moral, amatory, and descriptive. By William Perfect, M.D.

Dr. William Perfect


Five anapestic quatrains. In this lyric William Perfect extends the pastoral ballad mode to the allegorical ode: "Poor pale-ey'd Distress I descried, | And Merit on Misery's bed, | By Opulence surly deny'd | A scrap of superfluous bread." Perfect was an extremely prolific minor poet, and since he had not published a collected volume for thirty years, one may suppose that many of the pieces collected in Poetic Effusions were written earlier. The allegorical ode, however, was it the peak of its popularity in the 1780s and 1790s.



Enshrin'd in your bosoms of snow,
There's a sweet little cherub, my dear,
Tis Sympathy call'd, and we know
It brightens Humanity's tear.

A gift the most lovely and fair
That Heaven on mortals bestows,
It pilots the pilgrim of care,
Repulsive of sorrow and woes.

Poor pale-ey'd Distress I descried,
And Merit on Misery's bed,
By Opulence surly deny'd
A scrap of superfluous bread.

Then I saw her dove-sembled descend
To succour poor pale-ey'd distress;
Benevolence, sweetly extend
And Merit, tho' wretched, caress.

So dew-dropping dawnings of morn
Pervade Nature's mantle so dark,
Rekindle o'er landskips forlorn,
Of life and of light the warm spark.

[pp. 149-50]