1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Mitchell

Allan Ramsay, "To Mr. Joseph Mitchel, on the Successful Representation of a Tragedy wrote by him" Ramsay, Poems (1720) 357-58.



But Jealousie, dear Jos, which aft gives Pain
To scrimpit Sauls, I own my sell right vain
To see a native trusty Friend of mine,
Sae brawly 'mang our bleezing Billies shine.
Yes, wherefore no? shaw them the frozen North
Can towring Minds with heav'nly Heat bring forth;
Minds that can mount with an uncommon Wing,
And frae black heath'ry headed Mountains sing,
As saft as he that Haughs Hesperian trades,
Or leans beneath the Aromatick Shades.
Bred to the Love of Lit'rature and Arms,
Still something great a Scottish Bosom warms:
Tho nurs'd on Ice, and educate in Snaw,
Honour and Liberty eags him to draw
A Hero's Sword, or an heroick Quill,
The monst'rous Faes of Right and Wit to kill.

Well may ye further in your leal Design,
To thwart the Gowks, and gar the Brethren tine
The wrang Opinion which they lang have had,
That a' which mounts the Stage — is surely bad.
Stupidly dull! But Fools ay Fools will be,
And nane's sae blind as them that winna see.
Where's Vice and Virtue set in juster Light?
Where can a glancing Genius shine mair bright?
Where can we humane Life review mair plain,
Than in the happy Plot and curious Scene?

If in themsells sic fair Designs were ill,
We ne'er had priev'd the sweet drammatick Skill
Of Congrave, Addison, Steel, Rowe, and Hill;
Hill, wha the highest Road to Fame doth chuse,
And has some upper Seraph for his Muse:
It maun be sae, else how could he display
With so just Strength the great tremendous Day.

Sic Patterns, Joseph, always keep in View,
Ne'er fash if ye can please the thinking Few,
Then spite of Malice Worth shall have its due.