ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, "Rhapsody, to Milton" in Collection of Original Poems and Translations. By John Whaley (1745) 182-86.
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
Rev. Sneyd Davies:
1740 ca.: Rev. John Whaley
1742: Richard Owen Cambridge
1745: John Milton
1766: William Camden
Soul of the Muses! Thou Supreme of Verse!
Unskill'd and Novice in the sacred Art,
May I unblam'd approach thee? may I crave
Thy Blessing, Sire harmonious! amply pleas'd
Should'st thou vouchsafe to own me for thy Son;
Thy Son, tho' dwindled from the mighty Size
And Stature; much more from the Parent's Mind.
Content and blest enough, if but some Line,
If but some distant Feature, half express'd,
Tell whence I spring. — This Privilege deny'd,
Grant me at least thy Converse now and oft
To ruminate thy Beauties infinite,
To trace thy Heav'nly Notions, to enquire
When from above they came, and how convey'd:
If darted on thee by the Sun's bright Ray,
Meridian Fire! or rather by the Muse
Nocturnal wafted to thy favour'd Ear,
How else, explain, cou'd human Mind exile
Grasp universal Nature, Treasure huge!
Or even say, where could'st thou Language find
Able to bear the Burden of thy Thought?
Such Thought, such Language, that all other Verse
Seems trifling (not excepting Greece and Rome)
So lofty and so sweet, beyond compare,
Is thine: whether thy sounding Pinion match
The Clang of Eagle's Flight: Or thy pois'd Plume,
Dove-like, cut silently th' unconscious Sky,
Calm as the Summer's Breath, softer than Down.
Witness the Scene of Eden, Bow'r of Love,
Of Innocence, of Happiness; o'erlaid
With Fancy's finest Texture; strew'd with Flow'rs
Of Amaranth; her Rivers Nectar; Winds,
To which Arabia's spicy Gales are poor.
Witness a bolder Page, where coping Gods
In Battle rend the fairest Hills, and shake
Heav'n's Basis: lively flash the painted Fires,
And the imagin'd Thunder rolls methinks
More terribly, than tearing the vext Air
When troubled Nature speaks. — But why select
A Charm from thousand? and what need of Praise?
Who fondly seeks to praise thee, does thee wrong,
Impairs thee, greatest in thyself. Thy Hell,
Copied by other Hand whate'er, will lose
It's Terrors; and thy Paradise it's Sweets,
Soil'd by rude Touch. — Enough then to admire,
Silent admire; and be content to feel:
Or, if we follow thy bright Track, advance
With Reverence, and shew that not Desire
To Rival, but Resemble, is our Aim:
Resemble thee, tho' in inferior Strain.
For O! great Pattern to succeeding Times!
Dost thou not smile indignant, to behold
The tinkling modern, fetter'd, yet well pleas'd,
Dance to the tiresome Musick of his Chains;
While all Parnassus rings the silly Chime:
And Pegasus, that once with spurning Heel
Kick'd the dull Ground, Ridiculous and tTme
Can amble with a Monk upon his Back?—
Could Milton think, when his high Standard rear'd
Th' Emblazonry of Freedom, none shou'd throng
To gaze, and kiss the Manumizing Staff?
Dastards in Choice! what, Legislator, then
Avail thy Charter, thy Example bright?
As when some Hero, to redeem a state
Long harrow'd by Oppression, lifts his Arm,
To crush th' imperious Yoke: the many scar'd
Stand tremblingly aloof, and love the Mace
That bruises 'em: Or, if the Chief return,
From the red Hall with Liberty proclaim'd,
Know not to prize, or keep, the mighty Gem;
The Romans on a Time, a Madman kill'd,
Rather than not be lorded, chose a Fool,
When Claudius in a lurking Hole was found
By Band Praetorian. Abject thus our Age,
And Slaves, because their Fathers were, to Rhime.—
Is it then Custom, (Superstition's Plea),
Ears poorly tickled with returning Sounds,
Why Jingling Charms? Is it to speed our Course!
A peal of Bells were right, if we were Mules:
The Courser asks no Spur. — Ah me! I fear,
And see, and feel the Reason; Faulters why
The Muse this Moment, wearied, flags, and pants
Despairing? Such a Distance has thou got
From thy first start, and left Pursuit behind:
On the Top Brow of Fame, in laurel'd Chair
Seated, and thence look down on Mortal Toil,
That climbing emulous would pace in vain
Thy Footsteps, trackless thro' Excess of Light.