ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Rev. William Mason
, "To Mr. Mason" in Dodsley, Collection of Poems (1758) 6:312-14.
Rev. William Mason:
1748: Thomas Gray
1749: D. H.
1749: C. B.
1752: R. D.
1756 ca.: Rev. James Hervey
1757: Mr. Boyce
1758: William Whitehead
1758: Thomas Neville
1760: Thomas Gray
1760: Edward Cooper
1761: William Shenstone
1763: Thomas Balguy
1763: Elizabeth Montagu
1763: Rev. Richard Shepherd
1764: Rev. Charles Churchill
1765: Rev. Joseph Warton
1768: Elizabeth Carter
1772 ca.: Richard Fenton
1772: Edward Jerningham
1773: Rev. William Hayward Roberts
1777 ca.: William Cole
1778: Samuel Johnson
1778: J. Boerhadem
1779: Rev. Vicesimus Knox
1782: William Hayley
1784: Dr. Warwick
1785: H. S.
1785: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1786: Rev. Robert Potter
1788: Rev. Robert Greville
1790: Rev. Bryan Waller
1790: Rev. Andrew Macdonald
1791: James Boswell
1791: Francis Garden
1792: John Bennet
1794: Thomas James Mathias
1797: Thomas Park
1797: Hannah More
1797: Dr. John Aikin
1797: Dr. J. Crane
1797: Brooke Boothby
1797: Bp. Richard Hurd
1797: Thomas Gisborne
1797: Anna Seward
1797: Rev. Henry Francis Cary
1798: J. K.
1798: Thomas James Mathias
1798: Michael Wodhull
1800 ca.: George Hardinge
1800: Thomas Dermody
1801: Dr. Erasmus Darwin
1801: John Penn
1802: George Dyer
1803: Elizabeth, Countess Harcourt
1806: Richard Cumberland
1806: William Hayley
1815: Mary Russell Mitford
1815: Richard Nares
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825 ca.: Joseph Cradock
1826: Herbert Barton
1827: Robert Southey
1830: Richard Warner
1833: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1845: John Holland
1853: Rev. John Mitford
1860: George Gilfillan
1882: Epes Sargent
1891: Samuel Smiles
1910: Ralph Straus
1758: Rev. William Mason
1759: Bp. Robert Lowth
1762: John Milton
1774: Richard Owen Cambridge
Believe me, MASON, 'tis in vain
Thy fortitude the torrent braves;
Thou too must bear th' inglorious chain;
The world, the world will have its slaves.
The chosen friend, for converse sweet,
The small yet elegant retreat,
Are peaceful unambitious views,
Which early Fancy loves to form,
When, aided by th' ingenuous Muse,
She turns the philosophic page,
And sees the wise of ev'ry age
With Nature's dictates warm.
But ah! to few has fortune given
The choice to take or to refuse;
To fewer still indulgent heaven
Allots the very will to chuse.
And why are varying schemes prefer'd?
Man mixes with the common herd
By custom guided to pursue
Or wealth, or honors, fame, or ease,
What others wish he wishes too,
Nor from his own peculiar choice,
Till strengthen'd by the public voice,
His very pleasures please.
How oft, beneath some hoary shade
Where Cam glides indolently slow,
Hast thou, as indolently laid,
Prefer'd to heaven thy fav'rite vow;
"Here, here for ever let my stay,
Here calmly loiter life away,
Nor all those vain connections know
Which fetter down the free-born mind,
The slave of interest, or of show;
Whilst yon gay tenant of the grove,
The happier heir of Nature's love,
Can warble unconfin'd."
Yet sure, my friend, th' eternal plan
By Truth unerring was design'd;
Interior parts were made for man,
But man himself for all mankind.
Then by th' apparent judge th' unseen;
Behold how rolls this vast machine
To one great end, howe'er withstood,
Directing it's impartial course.
All labour for the general good,
Some stem the wave, some till the soil,
By chance the bold, th' ambitious toil,
The indolent by force.
That bird, that fancy frees from care,
With many a fear, unknown to thee,
Must rove to glean his scanty fare
From field to field, from tree to tree.
His lot, united with his kind,
Has all his little joys confin'd;
The Lover's, and the Parent's ties
Alarm by turns his anxious breast,
Yet, bound by fate, by instinct wise,
He hails with songs the rising morn,
And pleas'd at Evening's cool return
He sings himself to rest.
And tell me, has not Nature made
Some stated void for thee to fill,
Some spring, some wheel which asks thy aid
To move, regardless of thy will?
Go then, go feel with glad surprize
New bliss from new attentions rise;
Till, happier in thy wider sphere,
Thou quit thy darling schemes of ease;
Nay, glowing in the full career,
Ev'n, with thy virtuous labours more;
Nor 'till the toilsome day is o'er
Expect the night of peace.