1725 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leonard Welsted

Anonymous, "To Mr. Welsted" The British Journal (6 March 1725).



In Satire toil, who will, to raise his Name,
And build it on another's blasted Fame!
Farewel the Verse of Spleen! the Gaul-dip'd Lays!
Give me the Judgment and the Heart to praise.

Thee, Welsted, lo! this humble Verse regards,
Thee, foremost in the Roll of English Bards!
What Garlands round thy sacred Temples grow!
What Wreaths on thee does Pindus not bestow!
The Ivy there, and there the Lawrels twine,
The Critick's Honours, and the Poet's thine!
Longinus, taught by thee the English Tongue,
Conducts us through th' Immortal Grecian's Song;
While pleas'd we trace, throughout his learned Page,
The Triumphs of the Muse's infant Age.
To Homer's Worth was great Longinus true,
And what he was to him, is now to you.
His Dictates shall pronounce, in every Time,
Thy Works the Standard of the true Sublime:
How in those Works does Marlborough's Glory rise,
Rais'd to a God, and lifted to the Skies!
Oh! Name renown'd, that now shall deathless be;
For none can perish that are sung by thee.
Through softer Scenes, inchanted do we rove,
Behold thy Bower! thy Love-sequester'd Grove!
Fresh-smitten with a latent Wound we bleed,
And feel the tender Passion which we read:
Zelinda triumphs by thy magick Art,
Triumphs alike o'er thine and every Heart.

Say, my applauded Friend, (if yet a Name
So free, without presuming, I may claim.)
Say what new Labour now employs thy Time
The comick Strain, or the lost Charms of Rhyme?
Aspirest thou, vent'rous for the Lyrick Bays,
To be the Horace of approaching Days?
Or does the lofty Buskin fire thy Mind,
To leave our Lees and Otways far behind?

Oh! may I live to hail the glorious Strain!
Great Nassau's Labours, and his patient Reign!
A Subject, that the Verse will greatly fill,
Nor exercise in vain thy Master-Skill!
Or any Theme ignobler shouldst thou chuse,
What Theme but will be rais'd by Welsted's Muse!
Haste, with an Epic Song, thy Land adorn;
Thy Glory yet, tho' bright, is in its Morn!
Haste, favourite Poet, the great Work display;
Then shalt thou blaze; 'tis then thy Noon tide Day.