1743 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Taylor the Water Poet

Alexander Pope, in The Dunciad (1743); Works, ed. Warton (1796-97) 5:179-80 & n.



And now, on Fancy's easy wing convey'd,
The King descending, views th' Elysian Shade.
A slip-shod Sibyl led his steps along,
In lofty madness meditating song;
Her tresses staring from Poetic dreams,
And never wash'd, but in Castalia's streams.
Taylor, their better Charon, lends an oar,
(Once swan of Thames, tho' now he sings no more.)
Benlowes, propitious still to blockheads, bows;
And Shadwell nods the Poppy on his brows.

John Taylor the Water-poet, an honest man, who owns he learned not so much as the Accidence. A rare example of modesty in a Poet!

I must confess I do want eloquence,
Andnever scarce did learn my Accidence;
For having got from "possum" to "posset,"
I there was gravel'd, could not farther get.

He wrote fourscore books in the reign of James I. and Charles I. and afterwards (like Edward Ward) kept an Ale-house in Long-Acre. Warburton.