1722 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Abraham Cowley

T. B., "Cowley's Wish. To Mr. *****" Daily Journal (26 February 1722).



When Cowley offer'd at the Muses Shrine,
And to his Aid invok'd the tuneful Nine;
The willing Sisters to his Succour flew,
And rais'd his Thoughts to what was great and new.
Sometimes the Bard would strike the tuneful Lyre,
With Pindar's Judgment, and with Pindar's Fire;
Then would he soften Man to Love and Wine,
Anacreon like, melodious and divine;
Like Horace now in lofty Lyric Odes,
He trod the Heav'ns, and convers'd with the God
Oh happy Soul! How gloriously endu'd!
His Thoughts sublime, his Actions always good,
His Pleasure, Study, thus his noble Mind
To Learning, not to Grandeur was inclin'd,
He strove to fly from a precarious Fate,
And thought that to be curst was to be great;
All his Ambition was a little Seat,
From Courts and factious Rage a safe Retreat,
There to enjoy a Consort Chaste and Fair,
Such as Comelia, or Eudocia were.
Part of his Wish, the little Seat he gain'd;
The latter, better part, was ne'er obtain'd.
Had the deserving Bard like Thee been blest,
And of a Consort such as Thine possess'd,
Like Thee enjoy'd the greatest Good of Life,
A tender, beauteous, loving, virtuous Wife;
Cowley had still the mark of Envy been,
Of Husbands now, as of the Criticks then.