ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Charles Hopkins, "To Mr. Congreve" 1699 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 2:216-18.
1693: Rev. Jonathan Swift
1693: Rev. Thomas Yalden
1693: Thomas Southerne
1693: Bevil Higgons
1694: Joseph Addison
1699 ca.: Charles Hopkins
1700: Samuel Cobb
1700: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1700: Daniel Kenrick
1701: Sir Richard Steele
1707: Thomas Tickell
1709: Alexander Pope
1712: John Gay
1713: Thomas Tickell
1720: Giles Jacob
1720 ca.: Elizabeth Tollet
1722: Matthew Concanen
1729: Rev. Jonathan Swift
1730: William Bond
1748: Edmund Burke
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1797: Rev. Joseph Warton
1801: John Nichols
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Robert Southey
1808: Charles Lamb
1814: Lord Byron
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1830 ca.: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1862: Thomas Arnold
1880: Austin Dobson
1699 ca.: William Congreve
1699: Rev. Thomas Yalden
Let other poets other patrons chuse,
Get their best price, and prostitute the Muse;
With flattering hopes and fruitless labour wait,
And court the slippery friendship of the great:
Some trifling present by my lord is made,
And then the patron thinks the poet paid.
On you, my surer, nobler hopes depend,
For you are all I wish; you are a friend.
From you, my Muse her inspiration drew,
All she performs I consecrate to you.
You taught me first my genius and my power,
Taught me to know my own, but gave me more:
Others may sparingly their wealth impart,
But he gives noblest, who bestows on art,
Nature and you alone can that confer,
And I owe you, what you yourself owe her.
O! Congreve, could I write in verse like thine,
Then in each page, in every charming line,
Should gratitude and sacred friendship shine.
Your lines run all on easy, even feet;
Clear is your sense, and your expression sweet:
Rich is your fancy, and your numbers go
Serene and smooth as crystal waters flow,
Smooth as a peaceful sea which never rolls,
And soft as kind consenting virgins' souls.
Nor does your verse alone our passions move,
Beyond the poet, we the person love.
In you, and almost only you, we find
Sublimity of wit, and candour of the mind:
Both have their charms, and both give that delight,
'Tis pity that you should, or should not write:
But your strong genius Fortune's power defies,
And, in despight of Poetry, you rise.
To you the favour of the world is shown,
Enough for any merit but your own.
Your fortune rises equal with your fame,
The best of poets, but above the name.
O! may you never miss deserv'd success,
But raise your fortunes till I wish them less!
Here should I, not to tire your patience, end;
But who can part so soon with such a friend?
You know my soul, like yours, without design,
You know me yours, and I too know you mine.
I owe you all I am, and needs must mourn
My want of power to make you some return.
Since you gave all, do not a part refuse,
But take this slender offering of the Muse.
Friendship, from servile interest free, secures
My love sincerely and entirely yours.