To Julia. In Allusion to Some Illiberal Criticisms


Why , let the stingless critic chide
With all that fume of vacant pride
Which mantles o'er the pendant fool,
Like vapor on a stagnant pool.
Oh! if the song, to feeling true,
Can please the elect, the sacred few,
Whose souls, by Taste and Nature taught,
Thrill with the genuine pulse of thought —
If some fond feeling maid like thee,
The warm-eyed child of Sympathy,
Shall say, while o'er my simple theme
She languishes in Passion's dream,
" He was, indeed, a tender soul —
" No critic law, no chill control,
" Should ever freeze, by timid art,
" The flowings of so fond a heart! "
Yes, soul of Nature! soul of Love!
That, hovering like a snow-winged dove,
Breathed o'er my cradle warblings wild,
And hailed me Passion's warmest child, —
Grant me the tear from Beauty's eye,
From Feeling's breast the votive sigh;
Oh! let my song, my memory find,
A shrine within the tender mind!
And I will smile when critics chide,
And I will scorn the fume of pride
Which mantles o'er the pendant fool,
Like vapor round some stagnant pool!
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