1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Addison

Richardson Pack, "To Mr. Addison, occasioned by the News of the Victory obtained over the Revels in Scotland, by his Grace the Duke of Argyle" Pack, Miscellanies in Verse and Prose (1719) 70-71.



How long shall ADDISON, thy charming Lyre
Hang up unstrung amid the tuneful Quire,
Thou! who with ev'ry Master Stroke of Art
To Love can sooth, or rouse to Rage the Heart?
One Labour more at least, sweet POET, yield;
And sing Dunblain, as well as Blenheim Field.
Germania there, was sav'd by CHURCHILL'S Deed;
And Britain here, by CAMPBELL'S Arm was freed.
Who can to CAMPBELL'S Worth a Verse refuse?
What nobler Subject for a Patriot Muse?
Of late the Bigotry of our dull Times,
Had sunk the Dignity of Sacred Rhimes.
Mock-Triumphs only then supply'd our Scenes
Pacifick-GENERALS, and Pious-QUEENS.
O vindicate the Majesty of Verse!
And loftier Things in loftier Song Rehearse.
Describe ARGYLE in all his Glories dress'd,
A Godlike Soul in Human Shape confess'd:
Like fair ADONIS beautiful and young;
Like great ALICIDES valorous and strong:
In Camps experienc'd, and in Courts refin'd,
Like Fate resolv'd, and yet as Woman kind.
If Heav'n, indulgent to my duteous Zeal,
Had bless'd me with some Portion of thy Skill,
In Verse Immortal should the Hero shine,
And MILTON'S Thunder had been drown'd in mine.
But I, alas! a lower Theme must chuse,
(An Ardent, but an Unsuccessful Muse!)
Content in humbler Numbers to commend
The Gen'rous Patron, and the Tender Friend.