1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. George Sewell

B. G., "To the Author on his Tragedy of Sir Walter Raleigh" 1719; Sewell, The Tragedy of Sir Walter Raleigh (1722) sig. A5v.



While Politicks distract the madding Age,
And Sense and Wit are judg'd by Zeal and Rage;
Wisely You chuse a backward View, and show,
By What has been — What Moderns ought to know:
That Virtue, Freedom, and our Country's Cause,
Is the true Point of Heav'n's, and BRITAIN'S Laws.

ELIZA'S Days, and RALEIGH'S Actions rise
So great, so just, so glorious to our Eyes,
We view the Mighty Dead by Thee reviv'd,
Own the fair Piece — And wish We then had liv'd.

There is, My Friend, (I see it by thy Muse)
A Time for Fame, which free-born Souls would chuse,
A Period fix'd, and stated from above,
Which all the Sons of Liberty would love;
And would Historians their dull Part resign,
Great GEORGE'S and ELIZA'S Reign should join—

Blotted, for ever from our Eyes,
Be those dark Days, and those forbidding Skies,
When this fair Isle grew wanton of her Rest,
And KINGS, and SUBJECTS in their Turns opprest!

Forgive me, if with Thoughts of Freedom fir'd,
From RALEIGH'S Fate the willing Muse retir'd;
Tho' true, too true as painted in thy Scenes,
I would not own — what the sad Story means—
But as a BRITAIN wou'd be proud to say
That RALEIGH only perish'd in a Play.
B. G. formerly of King's College.
Jan. 20.