1709 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Coward

John Gay, "To the Learned Ingenious Author" in Coward, Licentia Poetica Discuss'd (1709) Sig C2.



The Vulgar Notion of Poetic fire,
Is, that laborious Art can ne'er aspire,
Nor Constant Studies the bright Bays acquire.
And that high Flights the unborn Bard receives,
And only Nature the due Laurel gives;
But You, with innate shining Flames endow'd,
To wide Castalian Springs point out the God,
Thro' your Perspectives we can plainly see,
The New Discover'd Road of Poetry,
To steep Parnassus you direct the way
So smooth, that vent'rous Travellers cannot stray,
But with unerring steps, rough ways disdain,
And by you led, the beauteous Summit gain,
Where polish'd Lays shall raise their growing Fames,
And with their tuneful Guide, enrol their Honour'd Names.