1700 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Rymer

Daniel Kenrick, in A New Session of the Poets (1700) 2-3.



D'Ur—y withdrawn, a Brace of Criticks came,
That would by other's Failures purchase Fame:
This peevish Race will take a World of Pains,
To shew that both the Arthurs had no Brains;
And labour hard to bring Authentick Proof,
That he that wrote Wit's Satyr was an Oaf.
Like Bedlam Curs, all that they meet they bite,
Make War with Wit, and worry all that write:
Thus while on Shakspear one with Fury flew,
T'other [Dennis] his Pen on well-bred Waller drew;
Writ on, and vainly ventur'd to expose
The noblest Verse, and most exalted Prose:
To both these Bards Heav'n gave so little Grace,
As of Apollo to demand the Bays.
After a Pause — Bright Phoebus Silence broke,
And with a Frown to both by Turns thus spoke:
How durst thou, Caitiff, Shakespear to asperse,
Thou wretchedst Rhymer in the Universe!
The Muses Streams on thee have lost their Force,
Zounds! Helicon's a River for an Horse.