Chatterton, Thomas: Last Verses
Last Verses (Angol)
Farewell, Bristolia’s dingy piles of brick,
Lovers of Mammon, worshippers of Trick!
Ye spurned the boy who gave you antique lays,
And paid for learning with your empty praise.
Farewell, ye guzzling aldermanic fools,
By nature fitted for Corruption’s tools!
I go to where celestial anthems swell;
But you, when you depart, will sink to Hell.
Farewell, my Mother! – Cease, my anguished soul,
Nor let Distraction’s billows o’er me roll!
Have mercy, Heaven! when here I cease to live,
And this last act of wretchedness forgive.
August 24, 1770
This boy, 1752–1770, came to London friendless and unknown, and on account of starvation committed suicide at the age of eighteen. He has become the classic example of the world’s mistreatment of its poets. The reference to Bristol is to his native city.