Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Extract from The Triumph of Isis
By Thomas Warton (1728–1790)
 
  LET 1 Granta boast the patrons of her name,
Each splendid fool of fortune and of fame:
Still of preferment let her shine the queen,
Prolific parent of each bowing dean:
Be hers each prelate of the pampered cheek,        5
Each courtly chaplain, sanctified and sleek:
Still let the drones of her exhaustless hive
On rich pluralities supinely thrive:
Still let her senates titled slaves revere,
Nor dare to know the patriot from the peer;        10
No longer charmed by Virtue’s lofty song,
Once heard sage Milton’s manly tones among,
Where Cam, meandering thro’ the matted reeds,
With loitering wave his groves of laurel feeds.
’Tis ours, my son, to deal the sacred bay,        15
Where honour calls, and justice points the way;
To wear the well-earned wreath that merit brings,
And snatch a gift beyond the reach of kings.
Scorning and scorned by courts, yon Muse’s bower
Still nor enjoys, nor seeks, the smile of power.        20
Though wakeful Vengeance watch my crystal spring,
Though Persecution wave her iron wing,
And, o’er yon spiry temples as she flies,
‘These destined seats be mine,’ exulting cries;
Fortune’s fair smiles on Isis still attend:        25
And, as the dews of gracious heaven descend
Unasked, unseen, in still but copious showers,
Her stores on me spontaneous Bounty pours.
See, Science walks with recent chaplets crowned;
With fancy’s strain my fairy shades resound;        30
My Muse divine still keeps her customed state,
The mien erect, and high majestic gait:
Green as of old each olived portal smiles,
And still the Graces build my Grecian piles:
My Gothic spires in ancient glory rise,        35
And dare with wonted pride to rush into the skies.
 
Note 1. This poem was written when Warton was an undergraduate, in answer to ‘Isis, an Elegy,’ by Mason. [back]
 
 
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