1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

A. Weekes, "On hearing the Rev. Mr. Dodd preach" London Magazine 33 (September 1764) 477.



Heard but the libertine thy pulpit lore,
Pathetic Dodd! the wretch would sin no more;
No more with vice his ebbing life disgrace,
With riot mark, or infamy debase!
No more in sensual pleasures sport secure,
Betray the beauteous, and pollute the pure;
But long, long slighted mercy swift implore,
And laud thy doctrine, and his God adore.

Touch'd with thy preaching, dulness waves his sleep,
And levity itself is seen to weep;
Deigns the proud infidel a list'ning ear,
Adult'rers tremble, and blasphemers fear;
While virtue triumphs with a conscious flame,
And Magdalens, with tears, deplore their shame:

Charm'd with thy merit, with thy manner charm'd,
By truth enlighten'd, and with precepts warm'd,
A muse, altho' unknown, attempts thy praise;
Nor chide her grateful, her impartial lays.
Let flatter'd greatness still by fools be sung;
With Dodd's applause, what temple hath not rung?
Whose skill exalts the preacher's waning art,
And while he moves the passions, mends the heart;
True to his text, and faithful to his God,
Now shews his mercy, and now bares his rod,
Repentance urges with pathetic zeal,
Nor fails each contrite wound with balm to heal!
Go on, judicious pastor, awe the bold,
Still, still improve the young, reclaim the old,
With pleasing energy thy saviour preach,
And virtue animate, and candour teach;
Still make fair chastity thy darling theme,
While Magdalens' support and prize its fame;
Then, nor till late, may heav'n reward thy care,
And make thee angel in a brighter sphere.