1732 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Bentley

David Mallet, in Of Verbal Criticism (1732); Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 3:120.



While Bentley, long to wrangling schools confined,
And but by books acquainted with mankind;
Dares, in the fulness of the pedant's pride,
Rhyme, tho' no genius; tho' no judge, decide;
Yet he, prime pattern of the captious art,
Out tibbalding poor Tibbald, tops his part;
Holds high the scourge o'er each fam'd author's head,
Nor are their graves a refuge for the dead:
To Milton lending sense, to Horace wit,
He makes them write what never poet writ,
The Roman Muse arraigns his mangling pens
And Paradise Lost by him is lost again.
Such was his doom impos'd by Heav'n's decree,
With ears that hear not, eyes shall not see;
The low to swell, to level the sublime,
To blast all beauty, and beprose all rhyme.