To W. HAYLEY. In return for a copy of Cowper's life sent with a sonnet. 1806.

In return for a copy of Cowper's life sent with a sonnet.
1806. [1] 

Wake languid Muse! and tell the friendly Bard
How well the gift, dear signal of regard,
That proudest monument which friendship shews,
While Virtue charms us, & while Genius glows,
The polish'd verse, the sweetly flatt'ring strain,5
Can sooth to soft forgetfulness of pain
The throbbing nerve, whose rest-destroying power
Told the quick pulse thro' many a tedious hour,
For to his ear, benevolently kind,
I know the voice of gratitude shall find10
An ever ready welcome, tho' denied
Wit's brilliant ray, or fancy's graceful pride.
Ah! to the generous mind, the feeling heart,
What power of song can such delight impart
As the pure conscious triumph that succeeds15
The grateful echo of their own kind deeds,
Not the bright clusters of Parnassian fruit,
Wreathing rich tendrils round Apollo's lute, [2] 
Nor his soft pencil's most celestial dye,
Pour such enchantment on the glist'ning eye,20
As the pale lips which hope reviving speak,
Or the faint smile that brighten's sorrow's cheek,
When that faint hope, that renovated smile
Repay the kindness which could grief beguile,
And the full heart, with whisp'ring pride may say25
"My soothing cares have chas'd one pang away."


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "To W. Hayley. In return for a copy of Cowper's life sent with a sonnet. 1806" is printed in Mary. Hayley sent Tighe a copy of his Life and Posthumous Writings of William Cowper (1803) with the following sonnet, "To Mrs. H. Tighe with a copy of Cowper's Life":

Records of Genius! traced by friendship's hand!
Go, & to Psyche's sympathetic eyes
Fondly display, in nature's simple guise
A poet's life! whose merit may command
Perpetual plaudits from his native land, 5
And fame, from every polished chime, that lies
Beneath the favour of indulgent skies,
Wherever minds aspire & hearts expand!
To Psyche say, in truth's endearing tone
Behold thy favorite Bard! whose life & lays 10
(If ever man might arrogate such praise)
May match in purity and grace thy own!
How, as thy friend, would he have joyed to raise,
And seat thee high on his Parnassian throne!

[2] EDITOR'S NOTE: Mount Parnassus was the mountain in Greece considered sacred to Apollo, god of music and poetry. BACK