1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nahum Tate

Giles Jacob, in Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of our most considerable English Poets (1720) 282-84.



This Poet liv'd to write the first Birth Day Song after the Accession of his present Majesty King George; which, tho' he was in a dejected Condition (occasion'd by the worst Circumstances) he perform'd with a great deal of Spirit; and his Poems on the Death of Queen Anne, was not only one of the last, but the best he ever writ. His Pieces are,

I. The second Part of Absalom and Achitophel.
Mr. Dryden assisted in this Piece, he being himself press'd to write it; but declin'd the Task, and encourag'd Mr. Tate in the Performance.
II. The Rise and Progress of Priestcraft.
III. Syphilis: or a Poetical History of the French Disease.
IV. Jeptha's Vow.
V. Mausoleum: A Poem on the Death of Queen Mary.
VI. In Memory of his Grace the Illustrious Duke of Ormond, and the Earl of Ossory. A Pastoral.
VII. An Elegy on the Death of the Countess of Dorset.
VIII. On the Death of the late Queen, and Accession of his Majesty to the Throne.
IX. Miscellanea Sacra, Poems on Divine and Moral Subjects.

Mr. Tate has likewise writ several other Elegiacal Poems; amongst which that on the Death of Sir George Tracy was very much applauded. He also gave the publick a great many Translations from Ovid, Horace, Juvenal, &c.

His Song on his Majesty's Birth-Day has the following Stanza's.

When Kings, that made the Publick Good their Care,
Advance in Dignity and State,
Their Rise no Envy can create;
Their Subjects in their Princely Grandure share:
For, like the Sun, the higher they ascend,
The farther their indulgent Beams extend.

Yet long before our Royal Sun
His destin'd Course has run,
We're blest to see a Glorious Heir,
That shall the mighty Loss repair;
When he that Blazes now, shall this low Sphere resign,
In a sublimer Orb eternally to shine.

A Cynthia too, adorn'd with every Grace,
Of Person and of Mind;
And happy in a Starry Race
Of that Auspicious kind,
As joyfully presage
No want of Royal Heirs in any future Age.

CHORUS.
Honour'd with the Best of Kings,
And a Set of Lovely Springs,
From the Royal Fountain flowing,
Lovely Streams, and ever growing,
Happy Britain, past expressing,
Only learn to prize the Blessing.