Address to Poetry

Communicated by Miss Beslee & Mr Verrals

An address to Poetry by a young Gentleman who had just finished his professional education

Hail heav’n-descended poetry
 A worthy friend and true
Who absent long has been from thee
 Again returns to woo:
His wand’rings past, his studies o’er
 That kept him hence so long,
Amid his native hills once more
 He tunes his simple song,
Rejoiced again to turn to thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.

I heed not what the world may say
 I scorn it as before
They’ll bid me cease to tune the lay
 And court the Muse no more,
 Let them who fortune’s favors share
 Who nursed by wealth and joy
Are free from toil and free from care
 Here idle hours employ
In singing songs inspired by thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry”

 But as for those whom fate severe
 Has destin’d to be poor
Whose labor thro’ the circling year
 Their homely food procure
Let them, contented with their doom
 Their various toils fulfill
Nor let their rugged hands presume
 To wield the tuneful quill;
For what have they to do with thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry”

Or should perchance the Sisters three
 A studious life impose
Let them obey the stern decree
 Content with humble prose;
Enough for them their tastes to tend
 Thro’ all the livelong day
And grateful when their labors end
 To sleep the night away;
But what have they to do with thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.”

Thus will the world censorious still
 A simple bard descry
But let them jeer me as they will
 I heed them not, not I;
They poorly fed, and thinly clad
 And doom’d to toil so hard
As poor heav’n knows as any lad
 That e’er was dubbed a bard
Still do I delight in thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry

At leisure if I seek the grove
 To shun the blaze of noon,
Or if at night I chance to rove
 To view the changing moon,
If o’er the hills I lonely roam
 Or ’long the murmuring shore
Or seated in my sheltering home
 I hear the tempest roar
Still do I delight in thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.

Of if (as often ’tis my lot)
 Thro all the tedious day,
From vale to vale, from cot to cot
 I tread the lonely way;
While at high noon the summer glows
 Or wakes the pealing storm
Or while the wintry winds and snows
 The dreary plains deform
Then do I delight in thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry

When as with weary steps I tread
 The mountains bleak, and high
The mist thick settling on my head
 The night obscures the sky,
The wild blast whistles o’er the heath
 And swiftly flies the rain
And bursting on the rocks beneath
 Loud roars the foaming main,
Then do I delight in thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.

Sweet maid to hear thy soothing strains
 It lulls my griefs to rest
And gentle melancholy reigns
 Companion of my breast,
For many a tear that’s dew’d mine eye
 The Muse has wip’d away,
And softer heaves my bosom’s sigh
 As sweet she tunes the lay;
Therefore I delight in thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.

And when thou shew’st the rich and proud
 With cankering care opprest,
While those by sad misfortune bow’d
 With inward peace are blest,
O then I cease to sigh for wealth
 And pomp, and lordly power,
And all I ask of heaven, is health
 The calm domestic hour,
An humble competence and thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.

I love thee, sweetest, gentlest maid
 And tho’ the world may rail
I still shall oft invoke thine aid
 And tune my simple tale.
I love the sprightly song to hear
 That makes the breast to glow
And love the sympathetic tear
 That oft thou hid’st to flow
I laugh, I sigh, I weep with thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.

As soft and sweet thou tun’st thy strain
 The heavenly pow’rs among
With ravished ears the silent train
 Sit listening to the song;
The gentlest of the train divine
 Are pround to call thee, friend
And virtue at her hallow’d shrine
 Delights to see thee bend;
All, e’en all are fond of thee
 Heav’n-descended poetry.