ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, in "The Battle of the Poets" Tales, Epistles, Odes, Fables (1729) 124-28.
1711: Thomas Hearne
1717: Jonathan Smedley
1725: Thomas Cooke
1729: Thomas Cooke
1738: John Ward
1740: Catherine Jemmat
1740: John Winstanley
1748: Thomas Gray
1754: Michael Clancy
1767: Oliver Goldsmith
1779: Rev. Vicesimus Knox
1787: Henry Headley
1794: Thomas Sanderson
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1799: Lady Catherine Rebecca Manners
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Robert Southey
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1831: William Wordsworth
1860: George Gilfillan
1862: Thomas Arnold
1880: Edmund Gosse
1882: Epes Sargent
1725: Rev. John Dart
1725: John Dennis
1725: Aaron Hill
1725: Ambrose Philips
1725: Rev. Christopher Pitt
1725: Dr. George Sewell
1725: Thomas Tickell
1725: Rev. Joseph Trapp
1725: Leonard Welsted
1726: Leonard Welsted
1728: John Durant Breval
1728: Alexander Pope
1729: Sir Richard Blackmore
1729: John Durant Breval
1729: John Dennis
1729: John Gay
1729: Ambrose Philips
1729: Alexander Pope
1729: Richard Savage
1729: Rev. Jonathan Swift
1729: Lewis Theobald
1729: Thomas Tickell
1729: Leonard Welsted
1730: Rev. Laurence Eusden
1730: Henry Fielding
1730: James Ralph
1734: John Dennis
1749: Matthew Concanen
1750 ca.: Samuel Johnson
Tickell, bless'd Bard, by Addison approv'd,
A Leader bold, and by the Muses lov'd,
Took in resplendent Arms the martial Field,
The Head of Homer painted on his Shield;
The Lines so strong the master Pencil speak,
All wish he'd draw'd at Length th' immortal Greek.
A Chieftain, who precipitates my Praise,
With Virgil's Genius, tho but Lucan's Days.
Behold. O! Youth, if into Fate I see,
Another Dryden shall arise in Thee.
Born to add Glory to thy native Land,
Thy early Virtues now our Hearts command:
Let Malice throw her feeble Darts in vain,
By Thee retorted only with Disdain,
Still shalt thou give her Reason to repine,
And to the Eye of Judgement ever shine.
Thee in thy Works shall Men unborn adore,
And call the Genius of pass'd Ages Moore.
With these a chosen Band of Warriors came,
Each zealous to assert his Leader's Fame;
Tho' worthy in themselves the Bard's Renown,
They modestly declin'd the laurel Crown.
Against the Foe they march'd in Arms ally'd,
And knew the God with Justice would decide.
The Armys met, the Word the Leaders give,
And all the Signal for the Fight receive.
Betwixt both Hosts Pope, dauntless Champion, stands,
And bids Defiance to the social Bands:
Who dares, he crys, with Me his Strength to try,
Let him consider well what 'tis to dy;
'Tis living to observe his Labours dead,
And by no Reader but their Author read:
Both Day and Night he may torment his Brain,
And write, and write, and ever write in vain:
The Works on which I look with Eyes unkind
Shall vanish like the Chaff before the Wind.
Who doubts my Vigour may repent too late;
Who can like Me invent, or who translate?
Of Epic Bards the Chief and oldest see
Explain'd, and more illustrious made, by Me.
He ends, and lo! his ample Shield uprears,
On which th' Unlikeness of the Greek appears.
Tickell step'd forth, with just Resentment fir'd
In Homer's Cause, and by the Muse inspir'd.
Shield against Shield the Heros now oppose;
Sense clash'd with Sense, and Words on Words arose;
For Pope, a Chief more resolute than strong,
Persisted boldly in the Fight of Song,
Till he at last the Foe too powrful found,
And by him fell unpity'd to the Ground.
About him throng'd his sad Attendants all,
And tho they saw would scarce believe his Fall;
Him to the greenwood Shade they gently bore,
And in hoarse Elegys his Fate deplore.
Tickell observ'd, and thus in Thoughts express'd,
Contempt and Pity rising in his Breast.
Severe his Lot to whom the Muses gave
A Powr so bounded, and a Soul so brave!
[He dyed since the last Edition of this Poem: he was a Man of Genius, and has left some few Monuments of it behind him. 1740.— Cooke, Original Works (1742) 191n.]