The Parting by William Clapperton

Farewell, my feeble harp! — now rest awhile—
Perchance for ever — ne’er again to ring!—
Unless (blest thought!) some sweet benignant smile
Of fav’ring Fortune shall “awake thy string,”
And to my pow’rless hand new spirit bring—
But grant it so — yet should thy judges frown,
And thy poor lays to dark oblivion fling—
Then thou, my harp, must lie for ever down,
And moulder on the sward, amid some forest brown.

And to the solemn sentence I shall bow
In silence meek, nor e’er shall I repine—
Unnumber’d lays must to oblivion go,
Of which the race to come shall hear no line!—
For not round every brow the lay shall twine;
Its wreath unfading only crowns the few,
Within whose favour’d breasts the fire divine
Burns strong, and glows with warmth for ever new;
And when their bones are dust, Fame does with their shades pursue.—

Whate’er thy doom — lov’d harp! I not regret
The little moments I have struck thy wire—
For oft to banish woe, with thee I’ve sat,
And milder thoughts thy tones did aye inspire;—
Tho’ not at all times when I might desire,
Thy sounds, tho’ weak at best, would deign to swell—
And oft I’ve blam’d thee for a cruel lyre,
That could to woe refuse thy lulling spell.—
Now let us part as friends — poor, feeble harp, farewell!—


Date: 1810

By: William Clapperton (c1779-18??)

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