1700 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dennis

Daniel Kenrick, in A New Session of the Poets (1700) 3-4.



And you, [cried Apollo] audacious Mortal, tell me why
You dare my Fav'rite Waller's Faults descry,
And yet expose your own vile Elegy?
Why d'ye in Mood and Figure play the Fool,
Whilst all the Plays you write are wrote by Rule,
Confoundedly correct, and just as dull?
Who would not swear, that sees Rinaldo play'd,
(Such work you make betwixt good Devils and bad)
The Author were, with his Armida, mad?
Revere the Dead, the Living let alone,
But if, in spight of me, you must write on,
Leave other's Works to Criticize your own.
Criticks, cried He, are most of all unfit,
To fill the Peaceful Throne of awful Wit:
A Tyrant Critick would my State o'return;
Poesy would weep, and all the Muses mourn.
Who to the Bays would make a just Pretence,
Must merit 'em by his own Excellence,
Not be a Wit, by others want of Sence.
Rim—r at this, and Den—s too sate down,
And in their stead stood up late-bruis'd Tom Br—n.