1705 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Rymer

Francis Knapp, in "Epistle to Mr. B.," 1705 ca.; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 4:291.



See how it stands affected to a Muse,
And as their talents lie, their business chuse.
When a poor thief to Tyburn's drawn, to be
There made a pendulum for the gallow tree,
Let D'Urfey then his woeful exit sing,
And with "Good people all give ear!" begin;
In gentle ditty, tenderly relate
The inconvenience of his sudden fate.
Nor must judicious Rymer be forgot,
Let him for madrigals compose a plot.
Let Johnny Crown in mild acrosticks deal,
His wondrous skill in anagram reveal;
Let him in petty verse describe his flame,
And edge his sonnet with his mistress' name:
"Stop thief" the warbling music shall prolong,
"Stop thief" shall be the burden of the song.
And Rymer too (for he above the rest
Is richly with a double talent blest);
Let him, for deep reflections long renown'd,
Be lawful critic through all Grubstreet own'd,
To be the judge of each suburbian lay,
If their acrosticks all the rules obey,
Compos'd according to the ancient way;
If felon does with as much decence swing
In metre, as he did before in string.