1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Colman

Vindex, "To George Colman, Esq." Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (23 July 1778).



Dear Coly, with contempt peruse
The sickly strains of Philomuse,
That spinner of vile farces;
Nor e'er believe the candid pit
Will frown upon old sterling wit,
While modern wit so scarce is.

Did Philomuse himself indite,
Or Tragick strains attempt to write,
No doubt they'd damn the dunce:
Beaumont and Fletcher highly fly,
Can make us laugh, or make us cry,
Or even both at once.

Shakespeare and they, like eagles, soar
To envied heights ne'er reached before,
And strain the aching sight;
Meanwhile the herd of unclean fowls,
Geese, magpies, ravens, daws, and owls,
With clamours mock their flight.