1729 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gay

Thomas Cooke, in "The Battle of the Poets" Tales, Epistles, Odes, Fables (1729) 120.



To him thus Pope. Waste not thy Breath again
To give Advice where all thy Toil is vain.
Who better knows than I his Dirt to throw?
To wound in Secret either Friend or Foe?
Go preach to Gay, and such as are inclin'd
Less to exert an enterprizing Mind,
Who slothful to pursue our glorious Ends,
Lag as if willing to make all their Friends.

[From the Character which I have always heard of him, he never made an Enemy by his Conduct, nor deserved a Censure. Some of his Writings have great Merit, tho he was far from an Author of the first Class. — Cooke, Original Works (1742) 187n.]