ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Sir Richard Steele
, "The Monument" (1729) 1-5.
Sir Richard Steele:
1708: Thomas Bishop
1711 ca.: Anonymous
1712: Rev. Thomas Newcomb
1713: Henry Needler
1713: Rev. Jonathan Swift
1714: Thomas Hearne
1714: Rev. Laurence Eusden
1715 ca.: Nathaniel Lloyd
1719: Jane Brereton
1723 ca.: Anonymous
1723: Leonard Welsted
1724: James Heywood
1729: Benjamin Victor
1729: Joseph Mitchell
1731: Isaac Thompson
1745 ca.: Rev. William Dodd
1759: Oliver Goldsmith
1762: Y. X.
1763: Rev. Charles Churchill
1791: Isaac D'Israeli
1809: Isaac D'Israeli
1818: William Hazlitt
1831: Leigh Hunt
1843: Lucy Aikin
1853: W. M. Thackeray
1855: Walter Savage Landor
1727: Rev. Samuel Croxall
1727: John Philips
1729: William Drummond
1729: Aaron Hill
1729: Alexander Pennecuik
1729: Allan Ramsay
1729: Sir Richard Steele
1729: Nahum Tate
1729: James Thomson
Crown'd with the Wreath of universal Praise,
In Peace and Honour, and with Length of Days,
The Bard, the Patriot, Soldier, and the Sage,
The Friend of Men, and Glory of our Age,
The peerless Steele his Spirit hath resign'd,
And left in Tears a wretched World behind.
Yes, He too, subject to imperial Fate,
Is fal'n! Alas! how transient mortal State!
But are the Muses all, at once, struck dumb?
Yet unadorn'd remains the silent Tomb?
Is Pope confounded with uncommon Woe?
No more does Young's high Inspiration flow?
Quite is the laurel'd Eusden's Lyre unstrung?
And Tickell's Harp on rueful Willows hung?
Ungenerous Tribe! — But let the Sons of Verse,
Whose studied Elegiacs would prove Farce,
Continue silent, as the gloomy Grave—
Walpole, who lives but to support and save,
Alone, will better do the Hero Right,
And fix his Friend in everlasting Light.
A Monument, becoming thy great Mind,
Wou'd pay, at once, the Vows of All Mankind.
And, while It kept alive his Worth and Fame,
Who wou'd not bless the kind Preserver's Name?
Honours to Steele wou'd thy own Glory raise,
And grave on every grateful Heart thy Praise:
Faction and Malice Then wou'd turn thy Friends--
Such Rev'rence on such Godlike Deeds attends!
And sure, O Steele, (if Souls from Flesh set free
Their Friends' last, pious, Offices can see)
Thou'dst look on This illustrious Instance, pleas'd;
And boast, among the Shades, that It was rais'd,
(In Honour of thy Merit, Mind, and Pen)
By th' ablest Judge and truest Friend of Men.
Well, to the dead, may Walpole stretch his Care,
Whose great Protection all the living share.
But had'st thou liv'd in letter'd Greece of old,
Thy Statue had been form'd of massy Gold,
Thy Self among thy Country's Gods enroll'd!
Nor wou'd the Genius of the ancient Rome
Been satisfy'd to lodge Thee in a Tomb,
But, with the Honours due to Patriot Flame,
The Publick had immortaliz'd thy Name.
Be hush, my Muse, and Providence revere—
Steele was reserv'd to act the Hero Here,
In doubtful Days for Liberty to stand,
Maintain the British Rights, and Save the Land.
Like Hercules, to rid our Earth He rose
Of publick Monsters and domestic Foes,
By Reason's Force to vindicate the Law,
And make the Sons of Slavery stand in Awe;
Nor breath'd a Vice or Folly in the Crowd,
By his facetious Satyr unsubdu'd.