1730 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Congreve

William Bond, in Epistle to Cobham (1730) 27.



Yet this Maeonian, and the Mantuan Flame,
And Congreve's Modern Fire all the same;
All from one Source, in diff'rent Ages came.
'Twas hard, indeed, thus coming last, to climb,
Against their advantageous Hill of Time;
Yet still we find Priority of Days
No Birth-right to Priority of Praise.
Change but each Age, when these three Poets shone,
Their Persons, to impartial Eyes, are ONE.
Congreve had Homer been, in Homer's Time;
Homer been Congreve, now, and wrote such British Rhime.
Both could, with Magic Arts of Verse, alike,
Rouze Souls to Arms, and warlike Passions strike.