Manuscript Fair Copy, in an eighteenth-century hand, transcribing two poems: 'Prize Monody on the Death of David Garrick Esqr. ffor the Vase at Bath-Easton, By Miss [Anna] Seward.' and 'To Miss Seward | Impromptu' by 'W[illiam] H[ayley].'

Anna Seward (1742-1809), poet known as 'The Swan of Lichfield'; William Hayley (1745-1820), poet and patron of William Blake [David Garrick (1717-1779); Bath Easton, villa of Sir John Riggs Miller]
Publication details: 
Seward's poem dated 'Bath-Easton (the Villa of Sir John Miller,) near Bath | ffeb. 11. 1779.' Hayley's poem without place or date.
SKU: 13426

Totalling 5pp., 4to, with Seward's poem on the first 3pp., and Hayley's on the following 2pp. Disbound from a notebook. In good condition, on lightly-aged and worn paper which has been cropped at the foot, resulting in the loss of two lines of text from Hayley's poem, and with the strip with the trimmed line from the foot of the first page of Seward's poem laid down at the head of the second page. The status of this item is unclear: there are indications (for example the subtitle 'Impromptu' of Hayley's piece) that it provides a text of Hayley's poem as circulated in manuscript before publication. The two poems are written in the same calligraphic hand (not, apparently, Hayley's), on two loose bifoliums of laid paper (both with the same fleur-de-lys watermark), placed one inside the other, so that the last three pages are blank. Seward's poem begins: 'Dim Sweeps the Show'r along the misty Vale, | And Grief's low accents murmur in the Gale. | O'er the damp vase Horatio Sighing leans, | And gazes absent on the faded Scenes;' The end of line eight - the phrase 'Roseat Ribbons join'd', has clearly been added later. Line sixteen ('Thro' the light magic of his playful dreams.'), having been trimmed from the foot of the first leaf, is on a strip of paper laid down at the head of the second page. Very like the version published in the Scots Magazine in February 1779, with occasional minor variations ('wont' in the manuscript version for 'us'd' in the printed version; 'light' for 'like'). Hayley's poem has 'W. H'.' at the end. Lines 18 and 19 (the second of the two indicated by the rhyme scheme) appear to have been trimmed away. Comparision with the version published as "To Miss Seward" (without the 'Impromptu' subtitle) in the Whitehall Evening Post of 16 June 1781 shows some variations. In the published version, line 15 is followed by: 'In that fair semblance, with such plaintive fire | She struck the chords of her pathetic lyre, | the weeping Goddess owns the best relief, | And fondly listens with subsiding grief:' In the manuscript, line 15 is followed by 'Proclaim'd herself the friend of Andre's youth: | [text trimmed away] | The weeping Goddess owns the blest relief, | [...]'.