Edward Thurlow (1781-1829)

Virtue and Delight

It is a strange thing, but an excellent,
That virtue with delight is seldom wed,
For still it happens that some accident
Doth keep the excelling stranger from her bed:
So think I, that the elements combine
Against the occurrence of such blissful woe,
Nor ever are the planets now in trine
To make soft light upon this meeting flow.

Ah me, the armour that Achilles wore
Was made with sweat and with a toiling brow,
And worn with sweat, and of all love forlore;
As ever in this age we find it now:
Who thinks to rise above his equal peers
Must yield to death after long-toilsome years.

The Fancy

Sometimes upon the hills in thought I stand
And travel on the wings of fantasy;
With what delight the globéd earth is spanned,
With how soft foot the wingéd moments fly!
A silent dream environs me around;
I am not what I am; I am not here;
But yet I walk upon my wonted ground,
But yet the woods unto my sight appear;
The woods, in which from morn till mournful eve
I wander, and would shroud myself from day;
And envy even the fox, whom caves receive
And fast secure him from the glaring ray;
This body and machine, indeed, is here;
But flies my soul into a higher sphere.

Beauty and Desire

It is much immortal beauty to admire,
But more immortal beauty to withstand;
The perfect soul can overcome desire
If beauty with divine delight be scanned;
For what is beauty but the blooming child
Of fair Olympus, that in night must end
And be for ever from that bliss exiled,
If admiration stand too much its friend?

The wind may be enamoured of a flower,
The ocean of the green and laughing shore,
The silver lightning of a lofty tower,
But must not with too near a love adore;
Or flower, and margin, and cloud-capped tower
Love and delight shall with delight devour!

On the Road to Tunbridge

O Tunbridge, I approach thee with delight,
That hast from many streams thy lovely name,
Thy hop-gardens are blooming to the sight,
Thy orchards of rich growth are dear to fame:
Not in all Kent, in wealthy Kent, is found
A vale more beauteous to the farmer's eye,
Meads that with wheat and barley more abound,
Or a more growth of luscious grass supply:

Thy Castle on the silent Medway stands
And mournfully overlooks the laughing town,
But thy fair school, upbuilt by pious hands,
Demands the poet's lays and verdant crown:
There Virgil and great Homer well are taught,
Virtue well prized, and evil set at nought.


The ruddy-purpled day in light retires,
The shrieking owlets wanton in the air,
And others hoot to see the rising fires
Of Hesperus exalt their glory fair;
The cattle low from out their stabled yard,
From house to house the chiding dog is heard,
And now the hamlets, that have laboured hard
The live-long day, have their sweet toil deferred:
Above, the moon her silver orbit wheels
With pale delight, like fitful tragedy;
And to the shepherd his damp path reveals,
That to the longing arms of Madge doth hie:
In cities now they play great scenes to kings,
Whilst here muse I, and think of deeper things.