1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hughes

J. Bunce, in "To the Memory of Mr. Hughes" 1720; Hughes, Poetical Works (1735) 1:lxxii.



Led on by Thee, those flow'ry Paths I view,
For ever Lovely, and for ever New,
Where all the Graces with joint Force engage,
To stem th' impetuous Follies of the Age:
Virtue, threre deck'd in ever-blooming Charms,
With such resistless Rays of Beauty warms,
That Vice, abash'd, confounded, skulks away,
As Night retires at Dawn of rosy Day.

Struck with his Guilt, the hardy Atheist dreads
Approaching Fate, and trembles as he reads:
Vanquish'd by Reason, yet asham'd to fly,
He dares not Own a God, nor yet Deny:
Convinc'd, tho' late Forgiveness he implores;
Shrinks form the Jaws of Hell, and Heav'n adores.

Hither the Wild, the Frolick, and the Gay,
As thoughtless thro' their wanton Rounds they stray,
Compell'd by Fame, repair with curious Eyue,
And their own various Forms with Wonder spy.
The Censor so polite, so kindly true,
They see their Faults, and sicken at the View.
Hence trifling Damon ceases to be vain;
And Cloe scorns to giver her Lover Pain:
Strephon is true, who ne'er was true before;
And Caelia bids him Love, but not Adore.

Tho' ADDISON and STEELE the Honour claim,
Here to stand foremost on the List of Fame;
Yet still the Traces of thy Hand we see,
Some of the brightest Thoughts are due to Thee.
While then for those Illustrious Bards we mourn,
The Muse shall visit thy DISTINGUISH'D URN;
With copious Tears bedew the Sacred Ground,
And plant the never-fading Bay around.

Here thro' the Gloom, aspiring Bards explore
These awful Relicts, and be vain no more:
Learning, and Wit, and Fame it self must die;
VIRTUE alone can tow'ring reach the Sky.
This crown'd his Life. Admire not, Heav'n in View,
He to the glorious Prize with Transport flew,
A Fate so blest shou'd check our streaming Woe,
He Reigns above, his Works survive below.