W HEN Homer begg'd his way from door to door,
The base neglect his genius proudly bore;
With glance prophetic, though of sight bereft,
The sublunary world indignant left;
Anticipated Fame with sure demand,
And plac'd on Time's award his glowing hand.
When o'er the harp his magic language flew,
The dead awaken'd, and immortal, grew
The Denizen of Nature's genial clime
To every age was present and sublime.
Enchanting Spenser plum'd his Fairy-wing,
Though Famine pinch'd him with her venom'd sting:
Pathetic Otway sigh'd in vain for bread,
Kill'd by the morsel that his hunger fed;
The hapless Forger died of human scorn,
To Inspiration's deathless honours born:
Though Plato's mantle was on Sydenham east,
The Debtor was in chains, and breath'd his last;
Compassion, Taste, and Genius, rung his knell;
The tears of Science on his ashes fell.
Deploring him with provident regret,
You thought of other Sydenhams lingering yet;
With gentle voice the panting spirit cheer'd,
And for the Pilgrim's feet this temple rear'd;
If Genius owns him by the world oppress'd,
Encouragement is here, as well as rest:
His bright conceptions to the age are shewn,
His feelings cherish'd, and his virtues known.
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