1830
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnet — Spenser.

The New-York Mirror: a Repository of Polite Literature and the Arts 8 (4 December 1830) 172.

Willis Gaylord Clark


A verse character of Spenser signed "W. G. Clark." An American writer hails the English bard's powers of fancy, whose imaginings are "Offsprings of air and light, a glorious throng, | Like clouds that in the sunset float along." Clark, who was fond of the Spenserian stanza, here follows the rhyme pattern of the Spenserian sonnet only in his octave. The poem is presented as "For the Mirror," which had recently changed its subtitle from "Ladies' Literary Gazette" to "a Repository of Polite Literature and the Arts."



Bard of pure thought! about whose daily ways
The light of gorgeous fancies lingering played,
Prompting the pictures of thy golden lays
Where fairy scenes each flowing verse pervade;
Whose birth, within thy soul enjoyment made,
When from thy harp was poured the gifted song
Of knight and minstrel, nymph and fountain-maid—
Offsprings of air and light, a glorious throng,
Like clouds that in the sunset float along:
These are the trophies that survive thy breath!
Amid thy numbers lives thy spirit-fire—
Fresh o'er thine ashes blooms the laurel-wreath—
Still soars the music of thy sounding lyre,
Triumphant over changes, and time, and death!

[p. 172]