Saturday, 10 May 2014

William Hayley & William Cowper's pension - part 3

Sadly the "animating" verse William Hayley sent to Lord Thurlow failed to have the anticipated effect.

"I was vain enough," Hayley later wrote "to expect a very gracious answer to this Epistle – judge then of my surprise & mortification in receiving no answer at all."

He was, he says,"half inclined to tell him, in a second Letter, how I felt this rudeness from a Man, who can be, whenever he pleases, most enchantingly polite. On reflection however, I thought it became me most not to write to him again, & I therefore vented my own ill-humour in the few following verses, which I sent to Carwardine, & told him that he might, if he had Courage sufficient, repeat them to his patron.

Why, wrapt in Clouds, no Sun pervades,
Sullen as Ajax in the shades,
  Why Thurlow art Thou mute?
When courtesy unstained by art
addresses to thy manly heart
  an amicable suit?

The Muse, Thou hear’st with dumb disdain
call’d thee from troubles dark & vain
  To scenes of sweet Relief,
That might thy rigid Brow unbend
and shew Thee in thy antient Friend
  of living Bards the Chief

Touched by thy silent disrespect,
Two Poets blame thy rude neglect
  with dignity serene;
We, tho aloof from public Jars, [?illeg]
We have thy Pride, but (thank our stars)
  Thy Pride without thy spleen