1718 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Tickell

Anonymous, The Tickler Tickell'd: being an Epistle to the Author of the incomparable Ode, call'd, A Voyage to France, &c. (1718) 3-5.



Well, Tickell! thou hast found it out;
Thy Hero is both Wise and Stout:
But let me tell you, 'tis no more
Than Politicians found before.
Why then this Stir and Mighty Do,
In Stanza's Four, Lines Thirty Two?
Why all this Dire Poetick Rage?
Your Sirname in the Title-Page!
(Bare Sirname! for you might add to it,
'Squire, Secretary, Poet)
Only to say, Britannia's Boast
Will soon be seen on France's Coast;
And when h'as hugg'd Monseigneur, then
Will come to London back agen?

And why, pray, must the Errand fail,
Unless the Ship from Windsor sail?
Why nothing said of the Intrigue
A Brother Earl drives at the Hague?
Nor, of the Mediator's Work,
Between the Emperor and the Turk?
But twice Three Rivers stopt, to look
At one Trip, o're the Herring-Brook.
Methinks! thy Time were better spent,
If thou (from Europe's Fate unbent)
Hadst sung, in Lines and Numbers New,
How A—on, thy Friend, withdrew
From Cock-Pit Cares, to Holland-House;'
From State-Intrigues, to chear his Spouse;
To all Things Elegant and Quiet,
His Chambers, Co—ss, and his Diet.

Or, what if you'd inform the Town,
That Things, of wonderful Renown,
And Nature strange, were to be seen
In Bow-street, at the Pillars Green;*
Told, where the Half-Man** lives, who can do
More than compleatest Ferdinando.
Sung Winstanley, so fam'd for Water;
Or blaz'd abroad the Fire-Eater.

These had been Subjects, wond'rous fit,
To suit thy Talents and thy Wit;
But, 'tis ill-judg'd, in Four-Foot Rhime,
To handle Matters so sublime.

What, he! who came from Thame and Isis,
In singing S[tanho]pe and his Crisis,
The Play and Plot, at once, to spoil,
By Dapper, Lean, Laconick Stile?
Not so! of late, thy Lyre was strung,
When, in Heroicks high, you sung,
A Man of God; who had the Grace,
To fire the World, by making Peace.

* The Wax-Work Anatomy in Covent-Garden.
** The German in Fleetstreet.