ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Anonymous, "On Visiting Fuseli's Milton Gallery, in Pall-Mall" Morning Chronicle (3 June 1799).
1674: Andrew Marvell
1674 ca.: Thomas Ellwood
1688: John Dryden
1690: Thomas D'Urfey
1693: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1694: Joseph Addison
1694: Matthew Prior
1699: Samuel Say
1700: Henry Hall
1700: Samuel Cobb
1701: Matthew Prior
1708: Rev. Thomas Yalden
1709: Rev. Isaac Watts
1712: Rev. Thomas Newcomb
1712: Bezaleel Morrice
1713: Rev. Henry Felton
1714: John Hughes
1717: Bp. Francis Atterbury
1720 ca.: Ambrose Philips
1721: Judith Cowper Madan
1725 ca.: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
1728: James Ralph
1730: Aaron Hill
1731: Isaac Thompson
1736: G. W.
1737: Alexander Pope
1740: William Shenstone
1745: Rev. Sneyd Davies
1746: William Collins
1747: William Collins
1748: T. F.
1749: F. W.
1750 ca.: William Oldys
1752: S. S. S.
1755: Robert Lloyd
1756: Rev. Joseph Warton
1756: J. H.
1758: G. G.
1759: M. M.
1762: William Whitehead
1766: Rev. Richard Graves
1766: Robert Andrews of Bridgenorth
1770 ca.: Sir William Jones
1773: Rev. William Hayward Roberts
1773: Hester Mulso Chapone
1774: W. H.
1776: James Beattie
1777: N. N. D.
1782: William Hayley
1785: John Pinkerton
1785: A Lady
1790: Helen Maria Williams
1792: John Bennet
1793: William Cowper
1793: J. Laws
1795 ca.: John Blair Linn
1798: A. M.
1799: William Seward
1799: William Roscoe
1800: Thomas Green
1802: William Wordsworth
1803: George Dyer
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1808: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1810: R. Rylance
1810: Rev. S. B
1810: James Jennings
1812: William Henry Ireland
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1815: Robert Southey
1817: Richard Hatt
1819: Lord Byron
1819: Thomas Mulock
1819: Thomas Campbell
1822: W. W.
1824: William Hazlitt
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: John Abraham Heraud
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825: Thomas Babington Macaulay
1825: Bryan Waller Procter
1826: James Gates Percival
1827: F. S. E.
1828: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1830: George Wallingford Clarke
1830: John Abraham Heraud
1830 ca.: Rev. John Mitford
1830: Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen
1833: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1842: C. H. Timperley
1843: John Holland
1863: George Daniel
1880: Mark Pattison
1882: Epes Sargent
1899: Henry A. Beers
What niggard hand may hope to fix the rule
To boundless Fancy? What spruce Critic dare
With Lilliputian airs to furnish out
His little fopp'ries, and proclaim around—
"Behold the Law; and Truth, eternal Truth,
Grave Sovereign of the world of Mind, shall call
Him Rebel, and from Nature's walks expel
Who lisps not to my liking —?" Feeble heart!
Forgive the smiling Muse: your solemn sneer
Compels a smile — Heav'ns, when I contemplate
Some weakling, shaking his dull head, 'mid Dreams
Nurs'd in tobacco fumes, or wriggling light
In namby-pamby trot, like ricketty child,
Praying the world to listen to his prattle,
Calling that prattle Law, who but must smile?
E'en Dullness, with her solemn sons, might smile.
Let the world listen still: but Genius first
Gave himself law, and, while his eye was fix'd
On Nature's harmonies, still proudly dar'd
Beyond the solemn bound'ries of your rules,
To seize some vast idea: then it was
The Critic rose, and having first survey'd
The fair designs of Genius, mimick'd him,
And grew so subtle — hence Stagira's sage
From mighty HOMER learn'd to shape his prose
Into Poetic Canons! Critic sage,
Maugre your solemn Lec'trings, laughs the Bard,
And, like some shrew Magician, lifts his arm,
And calls up Oberon: quick with lily wand
Pranks his gay Godship with his Elfin train;
Or, he can shape some Monster large and huge
With Atlantean sides, and Titan limbs,
And Gorgon eyes, and locks in Viper folds;
Or, by an art more pleasing, give new charms
To Beauty's lovely form, and make it wear
A form more lovely! — Such the Poet's skill.
Such, too, the Painter's, who with kindred art
Calls Form, and Face, and Energy divine
Into the speaking Canvas — 'till the Soul
That fill'd the Poet takes a bodied shape,
Fixes that Eye which rov'd, perhaps untaught,
With holy lore and metaphysic beings
By tricksome Fables and the Dreaming Schools.
Take, then, great Master of the Painter's Art
(Tho' light the Lay), oh, take the well-earn'd wreath
Of tuneful praise; for thine the skill to paint
The high MILTONIC thought; and well he claims
Who lifts the Muse, the Muse's blooming Crown.
Yes: — Britain's Bards shall hail you, pleas'd to see
That not to Florence only bold DESIGN
Was known; that Britain now may boast in thee
An ANGELO — a Soul by Genius warm'd
Bold as was MILTON'S, when he vent'rous sung
"Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme!"
And, while the youthful Bard shall list'ning hang
On those sweet melodies, his raptur'd eye
Shall gaze upon the wonders of thy Art,
And from the PAINTER catch the POET'S fire!