1701 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Congreve

Anonymous, "A Letter to Mr. Congreve" Gildon, A New Miscellany of Original Poems (1701) 299-301.



As Papist when his restiff Saint,
At home denies his Suit to grant
Trudges away to his, or her shrine,
With Nick-Nacks gay to make it more fine,
(For froward Saint above, who'd think it,
Th' appease like Children here, with Trinket)
Hoping he never will disgrace
With a denial that dear place
(For as we love our Soil natale,
So they love their Soil Sepulchrale)
So often having Sought in vain,
Early and late your Sight to gain.
Waited like Dun, or Court depender,
On Nobleman, or Fortune Mender
At the great Mid-Wife of the Muses,
Who Judges Head for Cradle Uses:
Whom Academic wits importune
As Rise of their poetic fortune,
Lo! now on Pilgrimage I am come
From Brent-ford Town to Court of Hampton
Whether this be your dear Samos
Or any other Place that's famous.
Among the Gods, let this solicite
To waiting friend a speedy visit.
So may the Neighb'ring Nymphs adore you,
And when you please, fall down before you.
All Wives distress'd invoke your Name,
And distant Husbands dread your Fame:
Or if your Worship more delight in
Our vows that do affect your Writing
May Critic's ne'r disect your Plays,
Provok'd by what they want, your Praise,
Nor Poet envy you the Bays.
May Hiss and Catcalls ne'r attaque you
May smiles of Boxes ne'r forsake you.
But when you write may you still find
An Audience pleas'd, and Patron kind.
As you to Bulloks Strait repair
To find your humble Servant there.