1823
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Despondence. (In the Manner of Shenstone.)

The Morning Post (15 November 1823).

Thomas Stott


A pastoral ballad in seven anapestic quatrains signed "Hafiz." There is little of pastoral in this elegy, possibly intended to commemorate Stott's friendship with Thomas Percy, a subject about which he speaks in several other poems: "Yes, now he lies under the sod | That's shaded by yonder green willow— | His spirit, I trust, is with GOD, | Tho' his head rests on earth's dreary pillow."



I once had a Friend I held dear—
A Friend in adversity proved—
But Fate, by a fiat severe,
The stay of my comfort removed!

Yes, now he lies under the sod
That's shaded by yonder green willow—
His spirit, I trust, is with GOD,
Tho' his head rests on earth's dreary pillow.

His form, in the vision of night,
Is oft to my fancy display'd—
I gaze — then approach with delight
To embrace and accost the dear shade.

But Memory, observant of this,
Reviving the thoughts of the past,
By sad intervention my bliss
Invidiously hastens to blast!

Oh! name not the worth of that Friend—
It renews keen sensations of sorrow—
Since Remembrance no opiate can lend,
Oblivion! thy aid let me borrow!

Teach my heart to forget it has lost
A treasure it ne'er shall recover;
Lest, long on Affliction's wave tost,
Despondence my frail barque whelm over.

And thou, Resignation, kind power!
Assist me misfortune to bear—
Tho' clouds o'er the sky of Hope lour,
Thy counsel can banish despair.

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