1741 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "On the Lines in the London Evening Post" Daily Gazetteer (19 February 1741).



Feb. 14, 1740.
SIR,
In the London Evening Post of Tuesday last are the following Paragraph and Epigram:
"As it has occasion'd much Speculation, that in the elegant Monument lately erected to Shakespear in Westminster Abbey, the Poet should point to a Blank Label, the following Epigram may explain the Reason of it; viz.

On this Blank Scroll what I'd express
In vain must the Spectator guess:
For tho' I earnest point below,
No Meaning does the Tablet show.
Some Thoughts express'd had sure been apter,
Had so it pleas'd the Dean and Chapter;
But why at last I nothing mean,
Ask the wise Chapter and the Dean."

In Answer to this pretty Piece of Poetry, be pleas'd to insert the following Lines in your Paper.

In Evening Post, to vent his Spleen,
P—e mawls the Chapter and the Dean.
He blames the Blank; but wisely They
Retort the Rhymes of Johnny Gay:
Sawney, ev'n Thou, the Blank shalt mourn,
When in its Niche to stick thy Urn,
Thy modest Muse shall rouse again,
The Publick Love of Drury Lane.
Wouldst Thou thy Jove, when sunk to Rest,
Should on the Label be exprest:
Or that the Ravish'd Lock should grace
With decent Strains the Sacred Place;
Or Ethicks that, in Reason's Spight,
Say Good and Bad alike are right:
Pointing to These wouldst Thou be seen,
Revive thou must Thy Pious Dean.