1767 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Colman

George Philip Tousy, "To George Colman, Esq; the ingenious Author of the Oxonian in Town, occasion'd by the late Opposition to that sensible and justly admired Performance" Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (19 November 1767).



Joy sparkling in her radiant eyes,
Fair Virtue in her radiant eyes,
On golden pinions borne, the maid
Descended to Parnassus' shade;
Her heart with lively transports fraught,
And here the God of wit she sought;
The white-rob'd nymph Apollo meets,
And thus his charming guest he greets.
"Hail sister! though I can't conceive
Why I this visit now receive;
In spite of all that fools pretend,
Apollo e'er was Virtue's friend;
Welcome to this our peaceful haunt,
And know, whate'er you ask I'll grant."
She smiling bow'd, then silence broke,
And thus in tuneful accents spoke.
"COLMAN, a friend of your's and mine,
The darling fav'rite of the Nine,
Who long has bravely fought our cause,
And gained himself and us applause,
Dar'd t' expose, without disguise,
Fair Folly, and each reigning Vice.
He, by this conduct, rais'd up foes,
Who strongly strove his aim t' oppose:
Had they prevail'd, a last adieu
The stage had ta'en of me and you;
No more their breasts my power wou'd warm,
Nor polish'd sense or humour charm:
But joy to tell in vain they rave,
Truth only stings the fool or knave.
In vain 'gainst reason they contended,
For Justice well our cause defended;
Th' impartial town for us declar'd,
And he and I the triumph shar'd.
Now, from your hands I come to ask
A recompence for this his task;
Since worth from you meets due regard,
Let him not pass without reward."
She ceas'd, then Phoebus. "Sister, know
Your boon was needless long ago;
Nor is it hard to be perceived,
My smiles and favour he receiv'd.
His merit not to me unknown,
His late performance now I'll crown.
Tell him, Apollo, this bestows;
Then took the laurel from his brows:
This wreath around his temples twine,
Where green 'twill flourish as on mine;
Bid him still follow both our rules,
Nor fear a set of wrangling fools;
For high upon the list of Fame,
By truth engrav'd, stands COLMAN'S name."
Soho, Nov. 16.