ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Anonymous, "Milton" Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (1 September 1766).
1674: Andrew Marvell
1674 ca.: Thomas Ellwood
1688: John Dryden
1690: Thomas D'Urfey
1693: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1694: Joseph Addison
1694: Matthew Prior
1699: Samuel Say
1700: Henry Hall
1700: Samuel Cobb
1701: Matthew Prior
1708: Rev. Thomas Yalden
1709: Rev. Isaac Watts
1712: Rev. Thomas Newcomb
1712: Bezaleel Morrice
1713: Rev. Henry Felton
1714: John Hughes
1717: Bp. Francis Atterbury
1720 ca.: Ambrose Philips
1721: Judith Cowper Madan
1725 ca.: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
1728: James Ralph
1730: Aaron Hill
1731: Isaac Thompson
1736: G. W.
1737: Alexander Pope
1740: William Shenstone
1745: Rev. Sneyd Davies
1746: William Collins
1747: William Collins
1748: T. F.
1749: F. W.
1750 ca.: William Oldys
1752: S. S. S.
1755: Robert Lloyd
1756: Rev. Joseph Warton
1756: J. H.
1758: G. G.
1759: M. M.
1762: William Whitehead
1766: Rev. Richard Graves
1766: Robert Andrews of Bridgenorth
1770 ca.: Sir William Jones
1773: Rev. William Hayward Roberts
1773: Hester Mulso Chapone
1774: W. H.
1776: James Beattie
1777: N. N. D.
1782: William Hayley
1785: John Pinkerton
1785: A Lady
1790: Helen Maria Williams
1792: John Bennet
1793: William Cowper
1793: J. Laws
1795 ca.: John Blair Linn
1798: A. M.
1799: William Seward
1799: William Roscoe
1800: Thomas Green
1802: William Wordsworth
1803: George Dyer
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1808: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1810: R. Rylance
1810: Rev. S. B
1810: James Jennings
1812: William Henry Ireland
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1815: Robert Southey
1817: Richard Hatt
1819: Lord Byron
1819: Thomas Mulock
1819: Thomas Campbell
1822: W. W.
1824: William Hazlitt
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: John Abraham Heraud
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825: Thomas Babington Macaulay
1825: Bryan Waller Procter
1826: James Gates Percival
1827: F. S. E.
1828: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1830: George Wallingford Clarke
1830: John Abraham Heraud
1830 ca.: Rev. John Mitford
1830: Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen
1833: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1842: C. H. Timperley
1843: John Holland
1863: George Daniel
1880: Mark Pattison
1882: Epes Sargent
1899: Henry A. Beers
Oh for exalted thoughts, celestial fire!
Such as did once our poet's soul inspire;
My verse should then in tuneful numbers shine,
And godlike spirit animate each line;
Then distant realms should bear the pleasing sound,
And MILTON be with deathless honours crown'd.
E'en Homer's self the contest should give o'er,
And Virgil reign in Majesty no more.
In vain his praises we attempt to scan,
Unable to perform the mighty plan;
Yet, tho' unskilful to touch the vocal lyre,
Tho' strangers to the muses tuneful choir,
With extacy his genius we admire.
For with amazing force his sacred lays
Engage our wonder, and transcend our praise;
These safely may defy Barbarian Rage,
And stand the rude attacks of Time and Age.
Divine enthusiasm glow'd within his breast,
And sacred frenzy all his soul possest:
His soaring fancy reach'd the tree sublime,
And nobly scorn'd th' inglorious chains of rhyme;
No vulgar hero e'er employs his pen,
He climbs to heav'n and shuns to sing of men.
Here view, with equal terror and delight,
Angel with angel join'd in glorious fight
With strength divine, and more than human might.
Here Satan proud, rebellious, scorns to fly,
There Michael's valour strikes the wond'ring eye;
But when the poet quits these aweful scenes
To paint of Paradise, the gay demesnes,
In vain we seek for language to express,
A vision so profuse in pleasantness:
Graceful, like Eve, his varied lines appear,
And charm with true delight the ravish'd ear.
Thus, whensoe'er he our attention draws,
He soars superior to the critic's laws;
His soul inspir'd no trifling rules could bind,
Nor rigid precepts cramp his ample mind.
Hail, happy poet, genius truly great!
With pleasing thoughts and nervous strength elate,
Thy verses shall be read in ages hence,
The standard true of poetry and sense:
Thou mad'st the beauties of our language known,
And England boasts an Homer all her own.