1700 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Daniel Kenrick, in A New Session of the Poets (1700) 5-6.



When lo! a busy Bard came pressing on,
And cleft the Crowd, and elbow'd every one;
And that the Judge his Name might understand,
He brought a Brittish Hero in each Hand,
Who with him in a Coach, their Birth-place, rode,
And, being alighted, thus address'd the God:
I, bright Apollo, come, said he, to sue
For what the World have long since allow'd my due:
Gods, who no Envy have like mortal Men,
May Justice do the Labours of my Pen:
Nor yet by Human Pow'rs have I been slighted,
For if I am not Laureated, I'm Knighted.
Then, putting hand beneath the Tufted Robe,
Pull'd out a hopeful Paraphrase on Job.
Enough, replied the Deity, enough:
Long since I've seen thy sad Romantick Stuff:
Thy Doughty Arthurs ev'ry where are known,
And have like Fame with that of Bradely won:
In which thy Rhymes a constant Cadence keep,
At once they make us smile, and make us sleep:
And he that can in Job six Pages view,
Ought to possess your Prophet's Patience too.
'Twould much disturb the Manes of the Dead,
Should I misplace the Wreath upon thy Head.
The injur'd Shade himself would Justice do,
And Epilogue, and Prologue thee anew:
Put up thy Pen, and Noble Verse give o're,
Quack, and kill on, but murder me no more.