To George Hayter, Esq.
ON HIS PICTURE OF THE TRIAL OF LORD WILLIAM RUSSELL.
Hayter! almost I deemed the pencil's art
Too weak to cope with that renownèd story,
That tale—of sorrow much, but more of glory,
How beauteous Russell played her matchless part.
Now, gazing on thy fervent work, my heart
Recants, and drinks therefrom unstinted pleasure;
For ne'er did history's pen, nor poet's measure,
More touching sense of that brave scene impart.
Kindling, I gaze; and, still the more I gaze,
I feel my blood in brisker current moving;
While pure and high emotions stream, like rays,
From his calm bearing—her intensest loving—
Till every breath I draw is honour's breath,
And my stirred heart's sole throb—heroic death.