1819
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Invocation to Erin.

The Morning Post (9 August 1819).

John Taylor Esq.


In Miltonic measure John Taylor appeals to Ireland to financial support to her favored bard Thomas Moore, the British Anacreon: "That Poets are a careless kind, | Too well, alas! in him we find; | He, trusting to his gen'rous heart, | Where mean distrust could bear no part; | O'er heights Parnassian prone to range, | Ill vers'd in trade, accounts, exchange, | Requir'd no formal bonds for pelf, | Deem'd others honest as himself." Much of the poem consists of apologies for Moore, who politically and morally was not the sort of poet that Tory readers of the Morning Post would naturally incline to.

Author's note: "It is understood that breach of faith in his Deputy has involved Mr. Moore in great pecuniary obligations."

C. H. Timperley: "He had a vein of poetical ore, not of the greatest possible value; but current enough, and he used it liberally on all occasions. If with Dryden he kept a shop of commodities — he sent out his hasty tributes among his friends like his namesake in Prior's poem, as signs of benevolence. 'His jug was to the ringers carried | Whoever either died or married'" Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote (1842) 2:922.



Hence, foul DISHONESTY
Of grovelling Vice and sordid Interest born,
Even of thyself the scorn;
By Conscience haunted, never to be free:—
Go seek some loathsome cave,
Where pallid AVARICE pines amid its store,
With burning thirst for more;
There ply each crafty scheme and lawless art;
Framed by thy baleful heart,
Till Justice doom thee to a penal grave.

But ERIN come, of lofty mind,
Heroic heart, and temper kind:
Twin-born with BRITAIN, ne'er to veer,
For aye with mutual love to glow,
And share the bliss ordained below;
Come, display thy generous zeal,
Now for injured Genius feel;
MOORE, who loves his native Isle,
MOORE, on whom the Muses smile;
By his open heart betrayed,
Owes the dross that must be paid;
Or no more shall he be seen,
"Disparting on thy margent green,"
Then for MOORE exult to prove,
All a gen'rous Nation's love.

Thy bounty, GRATTAN, amply shar'd,
For patriot zeal a rich reward:
Shall thy Bard not share it too,
Who glows with patriot zeal as true?
When Eloquence forgotten lies,
Still MOORE shall fire poetic skies,
His genius animate the scene,
While Nature spreads thy vivid green,
Hast thou not a thousand time
Dwelt delighted on his rhymes?
Rhymes that Fancy's hues adorn,
Sparkling like the dewy morn,
Like morn too, tuneful, airy, gay,
And glowing as meridian day.
Is his lyre at times too free?
Inspired by LOVE and LIBERTY.

Yet must the moral Muse confess
His fancy wore too gay a dress;
Too oft, with wanton touch, his lyre
Has kindled flames of loose desire.
Too oft, with SEDLEY'S dang'rous art,
Has deck'd with flow'rs a barbed dart,
That deeply struck the youthful heart.
But now 'twill be his nobler pride
To list his Muse on Virtue's side,
Since now his lot to boast a wife
With ev'ry charm endearing life.

The Muse, besides, with sorrow owns
Too freely he has treated thrones;
Too freely, in satiric strains,
Those able Statesmen he arraigns,
To whose firm Counsels Europe owes
Deliv'rance from unnumber'd woes,
That else a proud Usurper's hand
Had spread o'er many a ruined land;
The labours harder, dangers more,
Than e'er on Statesmen fell before,
Were those their wisdom triumphed o'er:
Yet BRITAIN'S sun in glory rose,
Its radiance dazzling all her foes,
While by his light the Nations found
A sure return to safety found.

Can Justice then such Rulers blame?
No! — Europe shall record their fame;
Who saw by them her thraldom cease,
Restored to honour, freedom, peace!

Hence should our suff'ring Monarch find
Returning Reason guide his mind,
How much delighted will he view
The SON his own bright track pursue;
Selecting those, by worth and weight,
Best fitted to preserve the State.

That PARTY may their deeds revile,
Can but excite a scornful smile;
For Place would strait the clamour still;
It ever did and ever will:
But MOORE can on himself rely,
And need not join the selfish cry;
The rich resources of his mind
A Patron in the World can find.

'Twas but the fond mistake of youth—
That Rumour works to MOORE assign'd,
Which other Bards, from party spite,
Or disappointed spleen, might write,
While stamp'd as his, they could not fail
To gain a quick and ample sale.

Enough of Politics — again
Let injur'd MOORE demand the strain.
That Poets are a careless kind,
Too well, alas! in him we find;
He, trusting to his gen'rous heart,
Where mean distrust could bear no part;
O'er heights Parnassian prone to range,
Ill vers'd in trade, accounts, exchange,
Requir'd no formal bonds for pelf,
Deem'd others honest as himself,
And so an easy prey became
To one who took too sure an aim,
And like the "mousing owl" could smite
The Falcon tow'ring in his flight.
But ERIN to his aid will run,
And nobly raise her favourite son,
For rear'd by him, fresh laurels smile
To decorate her verdant Isle.

Then ERIN come, assist thy Bard
Thy heart will feel a full reward;
Bounty to such a cause applied
Will live a mark of patriot pride.
Haste then, at once, that bounty pour,
To rescue Genius, Learning, MOORE.
ANACREON, famed in ancient times,
To LOVE and WINE decreed his rhyme;
Behold him now in British lore,
And full as graceful as before,
With learning, taste, and genius fraught,
MOORE all the Grecian's spirit caught,
And Britain hence may well avow,
She boasts her own ANACREON now.

The Teian Bard, with humour gay,
Thus to his friends was heard to say:—
"Well! know that when I'm dead,
Ye wine will pour, and roses spread,
O'er the spot where rests my head:
But throw not such good things away,
Let me enjoy them while I may,
Give me the wine and flow'rs to-day."

And ERIN, thou, no doubt, to show
Respect and love when MOORE lies low,
Wilt plant unfading wreaths, in bloom
Around thy Poet's honour'd tomb;
Wilt bumpers quaff of votive wine,
In annual homage to his shrine;
But then, alas! the Bard no more
Will hear the festive table roar,
And strains of patriot love inspire;
Nor, wrapt beneath, in silent dust,
Behold the Pile, and laurell'd Bust,
His country then will proudly raise,
And Fame inscribe, with lasting praise.

Then ERIN, now with ardour strive,
And aid thy Poet while alive;
For when concludes his mortal doom,
His works will form the noblest tomb.

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