[Page 79]


1 HASTE, haste, ye solemn messengers of night,
2 Spread the black mantle on the shrinking plain;
3 But, ah! my torments still survive the light,
4 The changing seasons alter not my pain.
5 Ye variegated children of the spring;
6 Ye blossoms blushing with the pearly dew;
7 Ye birds that sweetly in the hawthorn sing;
8 Ye flow'ry meadows, lawns of verdant hue,
9 Faint are your colours; harsh your love-notes thrill,
10 To me no pleasure Nature now can yield:
11 Alike the barren rock and woody hill,
12 The dark-brown blasted heath, and fruitful field.
13 Ye spouting cataracts, ye silver streams;
14 Ye spacious rivers, whom the willow shrowds;
15 Ascend the bright-crown'd sun's far-shining beams,
16 To aid the mournful tear-distilling clouds.
17 Ye noxious vapours, fall upon my head;
18 Ye writhing adders, round my feet entwine;
19 Ye toads, your venom in my foot-path spread;
20 Ye blasting meteors, upon me shine.
[Page 80]
21 Ye circling seasons, intercept the year;
22 Forbid the beauties of the spring to rise;
23 Let not the life-preserving grain appear;
24 Let howling tempests harrow up the skies.
25 Ye cloud-girt, moss-grown turrets, look no more
26 Into the palace of the god of day:
27 Ye loud tempestuous billows, cease to roar,
28 In plaintive numbers, thro' the valleys stray.
29 Ye verdant-vested trees, forget to grow,
30 Cast off the yellow foliage of your pride:
31 Ye softly tinkling riv'lets, cease to flow,
32 Or swell'd with certain death and poison, glide.
33 Ye solemn warblers of the gloomy night,
34 That rest in lightning-blasted oaks the day,
35 Thro' the black mantles take your slow-pac'd flight,
36 Rending the silent wood with shrieking lay.
37 Ye snow-crown'd mountains, lost to mortal eyes,
38 Down to the valleys bend your hoary head,
39 Ye livid comets, fire the peopled skies
40 For lady Betty's tabby cat is dead.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ELEGY.
Themes: animals
Genres: heroic quatrain; elegy

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Source edition

Chatterton, Thomas, 1752-1770. Miscellanies in Prose and Verse; by Thomas Chatterton, the supposed author of the poems published under the names of Rowley, Canning, &c. London: printed for Fielding and Walker, Pater-Noster Row, MDCCLXXVIII., 1778, pp. 79-80. xxxii,245,[3]p.,plates; 8⁰. (ESTC T39457; OTA K039720.000)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Thomas Chatterton