1726 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Matthew Prior

Aaron Hill, "On a Blank Leaf of Colin's Mistakes, in Clio's Window" Richard Savage, Miscellaneous Poems and Translations (1726) 211-12.



Colin! — in easy flow of hum'rous Verse,
'Tis own'd, thou dost a thousand Pens excel:
But thy trite Thoughts no streamy Strength disperse,
And thou, methinks, at best, but triflest well!

'Tis one of thy Mistakes, so low to chuse,
As from Old Stores, to steal a beaten Praise:
Strip the torn Robe from Grecia's aged Muse,
And, with the dusty Trophy, veil thy Bays!

Nothing delights the Lovely, and the Wise,
But meaning Nature, and pathetick Force!
Beauty discerns a Flatt'rer's thin Disguise,
Nor owns the Picture, where the Paint's too coarse!

Oh! didst thou live, That Clio to adore,
Whose Angel-Eyes here bless thy erring Wit,
Inspir'd, as never Muse inspir'd before,
Thou would'st have charm'd, where, now, thou hast but writ.

Taught, by her Power, to feel the Passion strong,
Thou had'st disdain'd the devious Turns of Art,
Look'd — and improv'd — and drawn the moving Song,
Not from thy mimick Mem'ry, but thy Heart.