1700 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Congreve

Daniel Kenrick, in A New Session of the Poets (1700) 6-8.



Stiff, as his Works, th' elab'rate Cong—ve came,
Who could so soon Preferment get, and Fame.
And with him brought the Product of his Pen,
Miss Prue before, behind his Back stood Ben:
Who quickly found the Foible of the Town,
When ev'ry thing that Dogger did went down.
His Double Dealer at a distance stood,
At once extreamly regular, and lew'd.
While in Procession by their Parent's Side,
March't the Old Batchelor and Mourning Bride.
Then, at Apollo's Feet his Labours laid,
Thus to his Sire with good assurance said:
If, bright Apollo, Young to gain renown,
And please each Palate in this Ticklish Town,
Has been my Talent still, and mine alone;
Your Godship must the Laurel needs allow
Of all your Sons, the best to suit my Brow.
This Truth the Under-Graduates all confess
Of both the Famous Universities.
And who so fit to be great Dryden's Heir,
As he, who living did his Empire share?
This said, he bow'd, and blushingly sate down;
Whilst thus the God harangu'd his hopeful Son.
How can you from those Bards expect the Bays,
Who him that wore 'em, could so sadly praise?
Those Princes Titles justly we suspect,
Whom the unthinking, giddy Mob elect.
If on you headlong hurry with the Herd,
Arthur to Absolom, will be preferr'd
All-pleasing Garth, to Milbourn must give place,
And Med'cine leave the Throne of Wit, for Grace.
E're at the Wreath you reach, all else excell:
You write correct, but Southern writes as well.
Avoid Bombast, still the Sublime pursue,
By Merit rise, and not by Mon—gue:
Take Nature for your Guide; and when I see
You up to Otway come, or Wicherly,
You'll find your pretty Parts may be preferr'd,
And time, the Bays may get you, and a Beard.