1771 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Montagu

Anonymous, "To the Naiad of Tunbridge Well" St. James's Chronicle (2 July 1771).



Fair Nymph who guard'st the healthful Spring
And deal'st thy Blessing round,
O grant our Pray'r, that we may sing
Thy Praise in Duty bound.

Tho' thou hast caus'd ev'n *Fools to write,
To rhime, and be malicious;
Tho' thou hast been in Reason's Spite,
Like mortal Maids, capricious:

Yet be not thou, like Fortune, blind;
Thy former Friends give o'er;
To us, and to thyself be kind,
And **Montague restore:

Restore her to us, Nymph divine!
And great will be thy Gain;
Castalia's Spring shall yield to thine,
For She will write again!

* Vide the Tunbridge Verses for the last seven Years.
** This Lady, justly celebrated for her most ingenious and manly Essay on the Genius and Writing of Shakespeare, is now at Tunbridge for her Health.