1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Tobias Smollett

Charles Churchill, in The Author (1763) 6-7.



How do I laugh, when PUBLIUS, hoary grown
In zeal for SCOTLAND's welfare, and his own,
By slow degrees, and course of office, drawn
In mood and figure at the helm to yawn,
Too mean (the worst of curses Heav'n can send)
To have a foe; too proud to have a friend,
Erring by form, which Blockheads sacred hold,
Ne'er making new faults, and ne'er mending old,
Rebukes my Spirit, bids the daring Muse
Subjects more equal to her weakness choose;
Bids her frequent the haunts of humble swains,
Nor dare to traffick in ambitious strains;
Bids her, indulging the poetic whim
In quaint-wrought Ode, or Sonnet pertly trim,
Along the church-way path complain with GRAY,
Or dance with MASON on the first of May?