ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
and George Colman, "To Obscurity" Two Odes (1760) 5-15.
1742: Richard West
1755: Rev. William Mason
1757: Horace Walpole
1760 ca.: Rev. William Mason
1760: Edward Cooper
1760: Robert Lloyd
1765: James Beattie
1771: Earl of Carlisle
1771 ca.: Richard Cumberland
1771 ca.: Anonymous
1771: Bp. Richard Hurd
1771: R. H.
1772: Rev. John Ball
1772: James Boswell
1773: Rev. William Hayward Roberts
1773: H. S.
1774: Samuel Jackson Pratt
1775: Rev. John Langhorne
1775: Samuel Johnson
1775 ca.: Rev. John Langhorne
1775 ca.: William Cole
1775: J. P.
1777: Rev. Thomas Warton
1777: William Cowper
1778: M. Macgreggor, Esq.
1779: Rev. Vicesimus Knox
1780: Thomas Davies
1782: Rev. William Mason
1785: Rev. Bryan Waller
1788: Rev. Robert Greville
1790: Helen Maria Williams
1794: Robert Alves
1794: Thomas James Mathias
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1796: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1798: Edward Gardner
1802: Alexander Thomson
1802: Joseph Dennie
1803: Anna Seward
1804: George Dyer
1804: Rev. William Tooke
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1807: Robert Southey
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1808: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1812: An Eminent Scholar
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1814: Thomas James Mathias
1815: Thomas James Mathias
1816: William Wordsworth
1818: William Hazlitt
1819: Richard Henry Dana
1820: Lord Byron
1820 ca.: Alexander Balfour
1821: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1821: Rev. Henry Francis Cary
1822: Tobias Oldschool
1824: T. Z.
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825 ca.: Joseph Cradock
1829: Anna Brownell Jameson
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1834: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1835 ca.: Charles Crocker
1845 ca.: Rev. John Moultrie
1880: Matthew Arnold
1882: Epes Sargent
1898: George Saintsbury
1755: John Milton
1755: Alexander Pope
1755: Matthew Prior
1755: Rev. Jonathan Swift
1756: George Colman
1756: Matthew Prior
1760: Thomas Gray
1761: James Beattie
1762: Allan Ramsay
1763: Joseph Addison
1763: Sir Richard Blackmore
1763: Rev. John Brown
1763: Edward Bysshe
1763: Rev. Charles Churchill
1763: Samuel Johnson
1763: David Mallet
1763: Rev. Richard Shepherd
1764: Rev. John Langhorne
1764: William Woty
Daughter of Chaos and old Night,
Cimmerian Muse, all hail!
That wrapt in never-twinkling gloom canst write,
And shadowest meaning with thy dusky veil!
What Poet sings, and strikes the strings?
It was the mighty Theban spoke.
He from the ever-living Lyre
With magick hand elicits fire.
Heard ye the din of Modern Rhimers bray?
It was cool M—n: or warm G—y
Involv'd in tenfold smoke.
The shallow Fop in antick vest,
Tir'd of the beaten road,
Proud to be singularly drest,
Changes, with every changing moon, the mode.
Say, shall not then the heav'n-born Muses too
Shall not applauding Criticks hail the vogue?
Whether the Muse the stile of Cambria's sons,
Or the rude gabble of the Huns,
Or the broader dialect
Of Caledonia she affect,
Or take, Hibernia, thy still ranker brogue?
On this terrestial ball
The tyrant Fashion, governs all.
She, fickle Goddess, whom, in days of yore,
The Ideot Moria, on the banks of Seine,
Unto an antick fool, hight Andrew, bore.
Long she paid him with disdain,
And long his pangs in silence he conceal'd:
At length, in happy hour, his love-sick pain
On thy blest Calends, April, he reveal'd.
From their embraces sprung,
Ever changing, ever ranging,
Fashion, Goddess ever young.
Perch'd on the dubious height, She loves to ride
Upon a weather-cock, astride.
Each blast that blows, around she goes,
While nodding o'er her crest,
Emblem of her magick pow'r,
The light Cameleon stands confest,
Changing it's hues a thousand Times an hour.
And in a vest is she array'd,
Of many a dancing moon-beam made,
Nor zoneless is her waist:
But fair and beautiful, I ween,
As the cestos-cinctur'd Queen,
Is with the Rainbow's shadowy girdle brac'd.
She bids pursue the fav'rite road
Of lofty cloud-capt Ode.
Meantime each Bard with eager speed,
Vaults on the Pegasean Steed:
Yet not that Pegasus, of yore
Which th' illustrious Pindar bore,
But one of nobler breed.
High blood and youth his lusty veins inspire.
From Tottipontimoy He came,
Who knows not, Tottipontimoy, thy name?
The Bloody-shoulder'd Arab was his Sire.
His White-nose. He on fam'd Doncastria's plains
Resign'd his fated breath:
In vain for life the struggling courser strains.
Ah! who can run the race with death?
The tyrant's speed, or man or steed,
Strives all in vain to fly.
He leads the chace, he wins the race,
We stumble, fall, and die.
Third from Whitenose springs
Pegasus with eagle wings:
Light o'er the plain, as dancing cork,
With many a bound he beats the ground,
While all the Turf with acclamation rings.
He won Northampton, Lincoln, Oxford, York:
He too Newmarket won.
There Granta's Son
Seiz'd on the Steed;
And thence him led, (so fate decreed)
To where old Cam, renown'd in poet's song,
With his dark and inky waves,
Either bank in silence laves,
Winding slow his sluggish streams along.
What stripling neat, of visage sweet,
In trimmest guise array'd,
First the neighing steed assay'd?
His hand a taper switch adorns, his heel
Sparkles refulgent with elastick steel:
The whiles he wins his whiffling way,
Prancing, ambling, round and round,
By hill, and dale, and mead, and greenswerd gay:
Till sated with the pleasing ride,
From the lofty Steed dismounting,
He lies along, enwrapt in conscious pride,
By gurgling rill or crystal fountain.
Lo! next, a Bard, secure of praise,
His self-complacent countenance displays.
His broad Mustachios, ting'd with golden die,
Flame, like a meteor, to the troubled air:
Proud his demeanor, and his eagle eye,
O'er-hung with lavish lid, yet shone with glorious glare.
The grizzle grace
Of bushy Peruke shadow'd o'er his face.
In large wide Boots, whose ponderous weight
Would sink each wight of modern date,
He rides well pleas'd. So large a pair
Not Garagantua's self might wear:
Not He, of nature fierce and cruel,
Who, if we trust to antient Ballad,
Devour'd Three Pilgrims in a Sallad;
Nor He of fame germane, hight Pantagruel.
Accoutred thus, th' adventrous Youth
Seeks not the level lawn, or velvet mead,
Fast by whose side clear streams meandring creep;
But urges on amain the fiery Steed
Up Snowdon's shaggy side, or Cambrian rock uncouth:
Where the venerable herd
Of Goats with long and sapient beard,
And wanton Kidlings their blithe revels keep.
Now up the mountain see him strain!
Now down the vale he's tost,
Now flashes on the sight again,
Now in the Palpable Obscure quite lost.
Man's feeble race eternal dangers wait,
With high or low, all, all, is woe,
Disease, mischance, pale fear, and dubious fate.
But, o'er every peril bounding,
Ambition views not all the hills surrounding,
And, tiptoe on the mountain's steep,
Reflects not on the yawning deep.
See, see, he soars! With mighty wings outspread,
And long resounding mane,
The Courser quits the plain.
Aloft in air, see, see him bear
The Bard, who shrouds
His Lyrick Glory in the Clouds,
Too fond to strike the stars with lofty head!
He topples headlong from the giddy height,
Deep in the Cambrian Gulph immerg'd in endless night.
O Steed Divine! what daring spirit
Rides thee now? tho' he inherit
Nor the pride, nor self-opinion,
Which elate the mighty Pair,
Each of Taste the fav'rite minion,
Prancing thro' the desert air;
By help mechanick of Equestrian Block,
Yet shall he mount, with classick housings grac'd,
And, all unheedful of the Critick Mock,
Drive his light Courser o'er the bounds of Taste.