1793 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Erasmus Darwin

William Cowper, "To Dr. Darwin" 1793; Darwin, The Botanic Garden (1799) viii-ix.



Two Poets (poets, by report,
Not oft so well agree)
Sweet harmonist of Flora's court!
Conspire to honour Thee.

They best can judge a Poet's worth,
Who oft themselves have known
The pangs of a poetic birth
By labours of their own.

We, therefore pleas'd, extol thy song,
Though various yet complete,
Rich in embellishment, as strong
And learn'd as it is sweet.

No envy mingles with our praise,
Though could our hearts repine
At any Poet's happier lays,
They would, they must, at thine.

But we in mutual bondage knit
Of Friendship's closest tie,
Can gaze on even DARWIN'S wit
With an unprejudic'd eye;

And deem the bard, whoe'er he be,
And howsoever known,
Who would not twine a wreath for Thee,
Unworthy of his own.
Weston Underwood, Olney, Bucks,
June 23, 1793.