ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, "To William Atwood Esq.," 1702 ca.; Miscellany Poems (1722) 61-63.
1702 ca.: Elizabeth Thomas
1702 ca.: William Atwood
1703: Lady Mary Chudleigh
1727: John Dryden
When gen'rous Thyrsis condescends to praise
His Pupil's mean, inartificial Lays,
What Strength of Genius must his Numbers shew,
To give, at once, both Fame and Merit too?
Others, may plausibly past Acts relate;
But he, where Worth is wanting, can create:
Such Energetick Virtue can bestow,
Such Inspiration from his Pen does flow.
With Pleasures, my great Censor's Voice I heard,
I hop'd his Candor, yet his Judgment fear'd:
But when I read the finish'd Poem o'er,
Shame warm'd my Cheeks, which Fear had chill'd before.
And blushing, I beheld such Graces shown
As I can ne'er without Confusion own.
Yet, grateful Aemulation bids me take
These undeserv'd Encomiums which you make,
Not as a Tribute, to my Verses due;
But as a kind Incentive, to pursue
The shining Prospect, you have set in View.
Believe me, Sir, your Muse a sacred Fire
Does with such Force, into my Breast inspire,
As warms my Heart; ambitious now of Fame,
And prompts me, to secure a deathless Name.
Thus animated by your gen'rous Praise!
And thus, instructed, by your artful Lays!
What mayn't I hope, from my aspiring Muse;
While you her Flight direct, and she your Track pursues?