1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. George Sewell

Nicholas Amhurst, "To the Author" 1719; Sewell, The Tragedy of Sir Walter Raleigh (1722) sig. A6v-A7.



Whilst two great Bards our grateful Country mourns,
And sheds the Debt of Sorrow o'er their Urns;
Transfus'd in Thee revive their gen'rous Fires,
And Liberty again Her Sons inspires.
Thrice Happy Poet! in thy Numbers glow,
The Elegance of GARTH, and Force of ROWE;
From yon' bright Arch thy spreading Fame They see,
And triumph in a Successor like Thee.

Behold! to cure the Frenzy of the Age,
A second CATO rises on the Stage;
The Same their Suff'rings, for a Cause the Same,
Nor yields the ENGLISH to the ROMAN Name.

Oppress'd with Noise, and drunken Party-strife,
Where ISIS flows, I waste a painful Life,
Stunn'd with the Terrors of impending Woes,
And Prelates, to the Church insatiate Foes;
Of uncouth, Logick Terms condemn'd to hear,
The same pedantick Crambe all the Year;
Pro Forma to dispute the Questions round,
And trace the Windings of Scholastick Ground;
To College-Walls reluctantly confin'd,
Check'd in the native Freedom of my Mind:
Or, on the Stage, with corresponding Eyes,
I would have seen thy BRITISH Hero rise,
For Virtue and Religion hear Him plead,
And boldly for a thankless Nation bleed;
But rigid Laws that Happiness deny'd,
Against my Will I laid the Wish aside.
Content to read Thee, in thy genuine Light,
Where no proud Scenes attract the dazled Sight;
Stript of the Pomp and Trappings of the Stage,
Strong in its Diction, and Sublime thy Rage;
Great in your Self, You want no foreign Art
To raise Compassion, and awake the Heart;
The secret Springs of Nature to controul,
And touch the diff'rent Passions of the Soul.

Accept, my Friend, these tributary Lays,
(If by that Name I may presume to praise)
Permit me last thy full Applause to crown,
And join the publick Chorus of the Town.
St. John's College, Oxon.
Feb. 3.