The Genius of Chatterton

I've viewed the pit where as in scorn were thrown
The bones of Chatterton; and here I see
Where first the muses marked him for their own,
Emerging from the dawn of infancy.--
Children! He once was blithe as now ye are,
The life-beam glittering in his ardent eye:
But guilt and melancholy and despair,
Pointing their future prey, passed darkling by.
Ah! what is genius? It is a burning brand
Like that the cherub bore to guard the way
To Paradise. If grace support the hand
That wields it, then its radiant flame shall play
In glory round; else shall its lightnings burst,
And strike their victim down--scathed and accursed.

C. V. Le Grice (1773-1858)


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2013 Selected Poetry
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