1802
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elegiac Stanzas.

Poems on Various Subjects, by Thomas Dermody.

Thomas Dermody


A palinode written in something resembling a Spenserian stanza: "For ever, silent be my sylvan flute, | Which COLIN'S tuneful lip did, erst, inspire; | No more may it the grey-ey'd Morn salute; | Or lead the jocund Eve-star's sheeny Quire." Thomas Dermody, who had long presented himself as heir to Spenser, died in miserable circumstances a few weeks after this volume was published.

Advertisement: "I must confess, that an aweful and enthusiastic veneration for the wild imagery, and fanciful flights of our ANCIENT BRITISH BARDS, may have enticed me too wide from that pointedness of temporary allusion, and those frothy ebullitions of eccentric whim, which so commonly disguise a vapid bottom, and which I perceive to be so highly prevalent over the mind of MODERN REFINEMENT" p. v.

Gentleman's Magazine: "This elegant little volume, the production of a cultivated mind, contains several articles highly creditable to the poetical talents of the writer, who, though a very young man, is 'not unknown to fame'.... The principal subjects of the present volume are, Love's Legend or, Albert and Angela, a poetical Romance, the production of five or six hours; The Extravaganza; The Pleasures of Poesy; and The Enthusiast; the two last in imitation of Spenser; Elegiac Ode to the Memory of General Abercrombie; a considerable number of Sonnets, among which are appropriate compliments to the Duchess of Devonshire, the Earls of Carlisle and Devonshire, James Bland Burges, Mr. Pye, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Smith the solicitor-general in Ireland, &c. &c.; and a variety of poems strictly miscellaneous" 72 (June 1802) 537.

Critical Review: "Ten years have not ripened his talents as we should have expected. If there are fewer blemishes in his present productions, there are fewer beauties.... While finishing this notice of his poems, we have just heard of Mr. Dermody's death" NS 37 (January 1803) 54.

James Grant Raymond: "But, alas! the period was now fast advancing when the praise or censure of the world could avail him nothing; his poverty and his disorder (a rapid decline) had so destroyed and reduced both his spirits and his frame, that medical aid could only be applied to relieve, not restore him. He was blind however to the alteration which his malady had made in his appearance; and fancied that the strength of his constitution, and proper nourishment, would remove his illness, and renovate his spirits. Unfortunately, his situation was at this time unknown to those friends who had so often assisted him. . . " Life of Dermody (1806) 2:321.



Ye fond desires! that flush the purple cheek,
And revel in the sunny eye of Joy!
Ye melting Looks! that Love's soft language speek,
Divinest rhetoric you can employ;
Ye sighs! that from the blissful bosom break,
With not unpleasing, amorous annoy;
Farewell: — and quickly catch the white-wing'd hour,
Ere fell Despair, ungracious fiend! destroy
Affection's soft recess, and Rapture's rosey bow'r.

For ever, silent be my sylvan flute,
Which COLIN'S tuneful lip did, erst, inspire;
No more may it the grey-ey'd Morn salute;
Or lead the jocund Eve-star's sheeny Quire;
Ye fays! for ever more your minstrel's mute:
So, sit ye, songless, by the glow-worm's fire;
Or hide beneath the mountain's misty brow;
Or to the copse's cheerless depth retire:
Ah me! I have no heart for elphin-pastime now!

Sore is my sorrow, and beyond repair:
Of all the nymphs that blest those ardent eyes,
She was, in sooth, the most bewitching fair,
And might be deem'd an Inmate of the Skies;
What modest graces mark'd her angel-air,
With sweet unconscious charm, which mock'd disguise,
And round her lucent form, resistless, spread?
Ye fond Desires! ye melting Looks! ye Sighs!
Farewell! — from transport's fold my long-lov'd MARY'S fled.

[pp. 188-89]