To William Hayley, Esq.

A poem by William Cowper

Dear architect of fine chateaux in air,
Worthier to stand for ever, if they could,
Than any built of stone or yet of wood,
For back of royal elephant to bear!


O for permission from the skies to share,
Much to my own, though little to thy good,
With thee (not subject to the jealous mood!)
A partnership of literary ware!


But I am bankrupt now; and doom’d henceforth
To drudge, in descant dry, on others’ lays;
Bards, I acknowledge, of unequalled birth!
But what his commentator’s happiest praise?


That he has furnish’d lights for other eyes,
Which they who need them use, and then despise.

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