1754 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Melmoth

Thomas Francklin, in Translation, a Poem (1754); Poetical Register for 1806-07 (1811) 329.



View all that proud antiquity displays,
Count o'er her boasted heirs of endless praise,
Who thought so nobly or who wrote so well,
Britain can shew th' illustrious parallel.
Methinks I hear each venerable shade
For base neglect his genuine sons upbraid.
Why wou'd not Congreve Afer's charms revive,
Or tender Hammond bid Tibullus live?
Plautus had pleas'd in Vanbrugh's looser page,
And Otway should have trod the Graecian stage;
Lucian would shine unveil'd by Swift alone,
And Tully calls in vain for Middleton;
A Livy's sense demands a St. John's style,
And Plato asks a Melmoth or a Boyle.