1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Dryden

George Dyer, "The Poet's Fate" in Star, Daily Evening Advertiser (7 June 1797).



The tuneful DRYDEN, born in happier days,
Earn'd but fair ORMOND'S smile and DORSET'S praise.
Mark him who fram'd his Creed to suit the day,
Nor suffer'd politics to cloud his way,
Now vend, distress'd, his base unpolish'd line,
Now courtly bend at Adulation's shrine;
In Ode, Play, Satire, try his varying skill,
Still poor in purse, tho' rich in genius still;
Now jeer'd by Lords, now jostled from the Pit—
Prais'd, curs'd, and beaten for another's wit;
While booby Critics hoot him to the grave
As traitor, atheist, libertine, and knave!
At length, due honours grace the Poet's dust:
See SHEFFIELD, noble SHEFFIELD raise a bust,
And JOHNSON throw a glory round a name
Already shining in the rolls of Fame!