1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Gay

William Hayward Roberts, in A Poetical Epistle to Christopher Anstey on the English Poets (1773); Poems (1774) 112-13.



Let Pastoral appear. Let rhyme supply
The majesty of nobler sentiment,
Which ill might suit the peasant. GAY felt this;
And banish'd from his woods Arcadian swains,
And mark'd the manners of the British hind,
And uncouth dialect. He too could veil
In fable's mystic garb the form of truth;
And by this sprightly tale could often draw
The tear of laughter even from the dim eye
Of churlish gravity.