Thy verse is "sad" enough, no doubt:
A devilish deal more sad than witty!
Why we should weep I can't find out,
Unless for 'thee' we weep in pity.
Yet there is one I pity more;
And much, alas! I think he needs it:
For he, I'm sure, will suffer sore,
Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.
Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic,
May 'once' be read - but never after:
Yet their effect's by no means tragic,
Although by far too dull for laughter.
But would you make our bosoms bleed,
And of no common pang complain -
If you would make us weep indeed,
Tell us, you'll read them o'er again.
March 8, 1807. First published, 1832.