1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

Charles Churchill, in The Rosciad (1761); Poetical Works of Charles Churchill, ed. William Tooke (1804) 1:20.



Next Jonson sat, in ancient learning train'd,
His rigid judgment Fancy's flights restrain'd;
Correctly prun'd each wild luxuriant thought,
Mark'd out her course, nor spar'd a glorious fault:
The book of man he read with nicest art,
And ransack'd all the secrets of the heart;
Exerted penetration's utmost force,
And trac'd each passion to its proper source;
Then, strongly mark'd, in liveliest colours drew,
And brought each foible forth to public view:
The coxcomb felt a lash in ev'ry word,
And fools, hung out, their brother fools deterr'd.
His comic humour kept the world in awe,
And laughter frighten'd Folly more than law.