1722 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Matthew Concanen, in "Letter to a Critick" Poems (1722) 52.



The grateful Muse to SWIFT exulting flys,
By whom upborn these arduous Tracts she trys,
Grov'ling on Earth she lay, unfledg'd before,
Till rais'd by him, she first essay'd to soar:
To him the Classicks all their Art have shown,
Yet all his Wit, and Spirit are his own:
He knows their Methods to pursue their Race,
Yet scorns their Footsteps servilely to trace:
Before Columbus rose, mistaken Men,
B'liev'd nought beyond their Sire's short-sighted Ken;
So heretofore our plodding Criticks thought
Nothing was Sense but what the Antients taught,
Till SWIFT launch'd forth, and boldly dar'd explore
New Worlds of Wit unknown to those before.