ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Rev. Jonathan Swift
John Sican, T. C. D., "A Poem sent to the Rev. Dr. Swift, on his Birth-Day, with Pine's Horace, in Turkey Leather, very finely bound and gilt" Daily Journal (21 December 1734).
Rev. Jonathan Swift:
1690: Sir William Temple
1704: William King
1713: Bp. Francis Atterbury
1713: Matthew Prior
1713: Alexander Pope
1716: Sir Richard Blackmore
1722: Matthew Concanen
1726: John Gay
1729: Thomas Cooke
1732: Rev. Jonathan Swift
1733: Patrick Delany
1733: P. B.
1734: A. V-gh-n
1734: John Sican
1737: Alexander Pope
1739: Edward Lonergan
1742: John Winstanley
1745 ca.: Anonymous
1745: C. B-r
1746: Henry Jones
1750: William Shenstone
1752: Nathaniel Weekes
1755: Robert Lloyd
1758: G. G.
1766: John Cunningham
1772: Rev. John Ball
1773: Samuel Johnson
1776: James Beattie
1782: Rev. Joseph Warton
1782: Rev. Joseph Warton
1783: Rev. Hugh Blair
1784: Thomas Sheridan
1788: A Young Author in Dublin
1796: Thomas Green
1797: William Godwin
1799: Lady Catherine Rebecca Manners
1802: Thomas Dermody
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Robert Southey
1808: Thomas Clio Rickman
1814: Isaac D'Israeli
1814: Sir Walter Scott
1816: Leigh Hunt
1818: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1818: William Hazlitt
1822: Tobias Oldschool
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1826: Richard Ryan
1829: Anna Brownell Jameson
1846: Denis Florence M'Carthy
1858: Walter Savage Landor
1860: George Gilfillan
1880: Edmund Gosse
1882: Epes Sargent
1734: Rev. Jonathan Swift
HORACE SUPPOSED TO SPEAK.
You've read, Sir, in Poetic Strain,
How Varus and the Mantuan Swain
Have on my Birth-Day been invited,
(But I was forced in Verse to write it.)
Upon a plain Repast to dine,
And taste my old Campanian Wine.
But I who all Punctilios hate,
(Tho' long familiar with the Great)
Nor glory in my Reputation,
Am come without an Invitation.
And tho' I'm us'd to right Falernian,
I'll deign for once to taste Iernian.
But fearing that you might dispute,
(Had I put on a common Suit)
My Breeding, and my Politesse,
I visit in a Birth-Day Dress,
My Coat of purest Turkey red,
With Gold Embroid'ry richly spread,
To which I've sure as good Pretensions,
As Irish L—s who starve on Pensions.
What tho' proud Ministers of State,
Did at your Antichamber wait;
What tho' your Oxfords, and your St. Johns,
Have at your Levee paid Attendance;
And Peterborough, and great Ormond,
With many Chiefs who now are dormant,
Have laid aside the Gen'ral's Staff,
And public Cares, with you to laugh.
Yet I some Friends as good can name,
No less the darling Sons of Fame;
For sure my Pollio and Mecaenas,
Were as goo Statesmen, Mr. Dean, as
Either your Bolingbroke or Harley,
(Tho' they made Lewis beg a Parley.)
And as for Mordaunt your lov'd Hero,
I'll match him with my Drusus Nero.
You'll boast perhaps your Fav'rite Pope,
But Virgil is as good, I hope.
I own indeed I can't get any
To equal Helsham, and Delany,
Since Athens brought forth Socrates,
A Grecian Isle Hippocrates,
Since Tully liv'd before my Time,
And Galen bless'd another Clime.
You'll plead perhaps to my Request
To be admitted as a Guest,
Your Hearing's bad — but why such Fears;
I speak to Eyes, and not to Ears.
And for that Reason wisely took
The Form you see me in — a Book.
Attack'd by slow devouring Moths,
By Rage of barb'rous Huns and Goths,
By Bentley's Notes, my deadliest Foes,
By Creech's Rhimes, and Dunster's Prose.
I found my boasted Wit and Fire
In their rude Hands almost expire;
Yet still they but in vain assail'd,
For had their Violence prevail'd,
And in a Blast destroy'd my Fame,
They would have partly miss'd their Aim;
Since all my Spirit in thy Page,
Defies the Vandals of this Age.
'Tis yours to save these small Remains,
From future Pedants muddy Brains,
And fix my long uncertain Fate;
You best know how — Which way? — Translate.