1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Lloyd

Charles Churchill, in Independence (1764); Poetical Works of Charles Churchill, ed. William Tooke (1804) 2:346.



But why, when present times my care engage,
Must I go back to the Augustan age?
Why, anxious for the living, am I led
Into the mansions of the ancient dead?
Can they find patrons no where but at Rome,
And must I seek Mecaenas in the tomb?
Name but a Wingate, twenty fools of note
Start up, and from report Mecaenas quote?
Under his colours lords are proud to fight,
Forgetting that Mecaenas was a knight;
They mention him, as if to use his name
Was, in some measure, to partake his fame,
Though Virgil, was he living, in the street,
Might rot for them, or perish in the Fleet.
See how they redden, and the charge disclaim—
Virgil, and in the Fleet — forbid it Shame!
Hence, ye vain boasters, to the Fleet repair,
And ask, with blushes ask, if Lloyd be there.