1729 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lewis Theobald

William Duncombe, "The Judgement of Apollo, on the Controversy between Mr. Pope and Mr. Theobald, 1729"; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 6:7.



In Pope's melodious verse the Graces smile;
In Theobald is display'd sagacious toil;
The Critick's ivy crowns his subtle brow,
While in Pope's numbers Wit and Music flow.
These Bards (so Fortune will'd) were mortal foes,
And all Parnassus in their quarrel rose.
This the dire cause of their unbounded rage,
Who best could blanch dark Shakspeare's blotted page.
Apollo heard, and weigh'd each party's plea,
Then thus pronounc'd th' immutable decree:
"Theobald, 'tis thine to shew what Shakspeare writ;
But Pope shall reign supreme in Poetry and Wit."