1740 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Christopher Pitt

Glocester Ridley, "To Mr. Christopher Pitt" 1740 ca.; Chalmers, English Poets (1810) 12:369.



In scenes which thy invention sets to view,
Forgive me, friend, if I lose sight of you;
I see with how much spirit Homer thought,
With how much judgment cooler Virgil wrote;
In every line, in every word you speak,
I read the Roman and confess the Greek;
Forgetting thee, my soul with rapture swell'd,
Cries out, "How much the ancient bards excell'd!"
But when thy just translations introduce
To nearer converse any Latian Muse,
The several beauties you so well express,
I lose the Roman in the British dress!
Sweetly deceiv'd, the ancients I condemn,
And with mistaken zeal to thee exclaim,
(By so much nature, so much art betray'd)
"What vast improvements have our moderns made!"