1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

William Mavor, "To Mr. Thomas Warton, P.L. On his First Birth-day Ode" 1786; Miscellanies (182?) 384-85.



O blest in genius! blest in fame!
Whom Learning hails with loud acclaim,
And all the Muses fire!
The well-earn'd laureate wreath you wear—
Reflect a lustre on your sphere,
Nor prostitute the lyre.
Pale Envy sinks beneath your blaze,
And pours involuntary praise;
Detraction reins her venom'd voice,
And Genius rears her crest, and feels ecstatick joys.

At George's call, the gothic gloom,
Incumbent long, dissolves away;
Fair Science shines in attic bloom;—
The Muses tune the hallow'd lay.
The trump of Fame, with potent breath,
Tells that Warton wears the wreath,
And charms his Isis' shore;
While Dulness yields its ancient reign,
Nor longer muds Castalia's vein,
Nor damps poetic lore;
The fostering influence of a throne
Wakes to life each lovely flower;
The Graces sport with looser zone,
And bless the gay, propitious hour.
Sweet music floats upon the gale,—
Loud paeans rend th' applauding sky,
While Genius quits life's humble vale,
And opes to fairer views her ardent eye.

Then let thy verse, melodious bard!
Unblam'd, great George's fame display;
He only can thy worth reward,
Nor needs the praise that Honour scorns to pay.
Supreme in virtue as in place,
He asks no vain fictitious grace;
Nor could the vaouring Nine
Compose a garland for his head,
Which real Virtue has not shed,
And Merit made divine!