ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, "Burning several Poems of Ovid, Martial, Oldham, Dryden, &c." Watts, Horae Lyricae (1709) 221-22.
1684: John Dryden
1684: Thomas Flatman
1684: Nahum Tate
1684: Thomas D'Urfey
1700: Samuel Cobb
1709: Dr. William Coward
1709: Rev. Isaac Watts
1712: Bezaleel Morrice
1728 ca.: Alexander Pope
1779: Rev. Vicesimus Knox
1791: William Gifford
1806: William Taylor of Norwich
1808: Sir Walter Scott
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1872: William Cullen Bryant
1880: A. W. Ward
Rev. Isaac Watts:
1706: Sir Richard Blackmore
1709: John Dryden
1709: John Milton
1709: John Oldham
1734: John Hughes
1734: Rev. Samuel Say
1735: Sir Richard Blackmore
1737: Rev. Samuel Say
I judge the Muse of lewd Desire;
Her Sons to Darkness, and her Works to Fire.
In vain the Flatteries of their Wit
Now with a melting Strain, now with an heavenly Flight
Would tempt my Virtue to approve
Those gaudy Tinders of a lawless Love.
So Harlots dress: They can appear
Sweet, modest, cool, divinely Fair,
To charm a Cato's Eye; but all within
Stench, Impudence and Fire, and ugly raging Sin.
Die, Flora, die in endless Shame,
Thou Prostitute of blackest Fame,
Stript of thy false Array.
Ovid and all ye wilder Pens
Of modern Lust, who gild our Scenes,
Poyson the Brittish Stage, and paint Damnation gay,
Attend your Mistress to the dead;
When Flora dies her Imps should wait upon her Shade.
* Strephon of noble Blood and Mind,
(For ever shine his Name!)
As Death approach'd his Soul refin'd,
And gave his looser Sonnets to the Flame.
"Burn, burn, he cry'd with sacred Rage,
Hell is the due of every Page,
Hell be the Fate. (But O indulgent Heaven!
So vile the Muse, and yet the Man forgiv'n!)
Burn on, my Songs: For not the Silver Thames
Nor Tyber with his yellow Streams
In endless Currents rolling to the Main
Can e'er dilute the Poison, or wash out the Stain."
So Moses by Divine Command
Forbid the leprous House to stand,
When deep the fatal Spot was grown:
Break down the Timber and dig up the Stone.
* Earl of Rochester.