Solitude at an Inn
by Thomas Warton (1728-1790)
Oft upon the twilight plain,
Circled with thy shadowy train,
While the dove at distance coo’d,
Have I met thee, Solitude!
Then was loneliness to me
Best and true society,
But ah! how alter’d is thy mien
In this sad deserted scene!
Here all thy classic pleasures cease,
Musing mild, and thoughtful peace;
Here thou com’st in sullen mood,
Not with thy fantastic brood
Of magic shapes and visions airy
Beckon’d from the land of Fairy:
‘Mid the melancholy void
Not a pensive charm enjoy’d!
No poetic being here
Strikes with airy sounds mine ear;
No converse here to fancy cold
With many a fleeting form I hold,
Here all inelegant and rude
Thy presence is, sweet Solitude.
Thomas Warton came from a family of poets. He was England’s Poet Laureate from 1785 through 1790. Warton was his father’s namesake and therefore called “the Younger” while his father was called “the Elder.” His brother, Joseph was also a poet.