1768 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

M., "Impromptu on the Death of the Duke of Newcastle" Lloyd's Evening Post (30 November 1768) 523.



Shall Holles die, and shall no son of Verse
Pay the just tribute of a warm applause?
Is there no weeping Muse to tend his hearse,
Who liv'd and died the Prop of Brunswick's Cause?

Where are thy Odes, oh! Mason, thine, oh! Gray?
Say, Whitehead, are thy powers for ever gone?
—Did Lloyd or Churchill live, we ne'er should say,
Here lies unsung Britannia's darling son!

No — they would strain their powers, and strike the string;
The string, responsive, would their lays repeat;
While each of Britain's friends would join to sing,
'Tis greater to be good than to be great.