1726 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

Anonymous, "On Ben Johnson's Club-Room, call'd the Apollo; at the Devil-Tavern in Fleet-street" D. Lewis, Miscellaneous Poems by Several Hands (1726) 71.



Once upon a Time, as plac'd supream in State,
Amidst his Sons old merry Ben was sate;
At some rare Strain the Jovial Bard essay'd,
And call'd the Muse and Phoebus to his Aid:
In vain; nor Phoebus nor the Muse obey'd,
Nonplust at this, and in a strange Quandary,
He fill'd a lusty Bumper of Canary.
Soon as this Nectar glided o'er his Tongue,
He rous'd, and tun'd his Lyre, and sweetly sung.
Then to the Room which the rich Juice supply'd,
Henceforth be thou Apollo call'd, he cry'd;
Apollo let the Name for ever be,
That lab'ring Bards, in Time to come, may see,
If they their Father Ben's Advice will take,
The best Inspirer is delicious Sack.