1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Anonymous, "On Reading the Criticism on Chaucer's Squire's Tale, in Warton's History of English Poetry" London Chronicle (26 May 1774) 500.



As erst on Cam's green marge, with sedge bedight,
I mark'd in Chaucer's page how Sarra's Lord,
Begirt with many a swarthy Moorish Knight,
Crown'd at his birth-day festival the board.

Much did I grieve, that o'er a page so pure
Devouring Time had cast his dim disguise;
As April show'rs by gloomy fits obscure
The noon-tide radiance of the smiling skies.

Lo Warton came — from the romantic tale
To clear the rust that canker'd all around:
His skilful hand unlocks each magic vale,
And opes each flowery forest's rocky bound.

At this, long drooping in forlorn despair,
His painted wing Imagination plumes,
Pleas'd that her favourite strain, by Warton's care,
Its genuine charms and native grace resumes.