Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Hints To Poets

Paint your scenes in rainbow dyes,
Gild with glories of the skies;
Crown the fabric Fancy rears
With diamonds from the starry spheres;
With roseate draperies of the morn
Young Aurora still adorn;
Make your summer suns at even
Ope the golden gates of heaven;
Goddess of the silver bow!
Queen of night! bright Cynthia thou!
Who young Endymion's charms
Clasp within thy shining arms;
Thou who hear'st the tender tale
Of lovers in the moonlit vale,
Call'st the wood sprites from their cells,
Fairies in the midnight dells,
Naiads from the lakes and streams,
Moonstruck poets fed on dreams,
While Reason's taper faintly gleams,
Thee they love, and bless thy beams;-
But no farther, and no faster,
Being but a poetaster,
I can go. I'd clear the way
For those poets of the day
Who, in strong spasmodic throes,
Are writhing downward to the toes,
Scorns the Muse-all common things-
Would Pegasus lend his wings,
Higher still she would aspire;
Snatching Dan Apollo's lyre,
She would charm our ravished ears
With the music of the spheres;
She would bind the morning star
In the traces of her car,
Give the flaming comet chase
Through the vasty realms of space.
This, all this, with no pretence
To nature, truth, or common sense,
These for thee, spasmodic poet,
Mix them well-results will show it.
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