1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Cumberland

Richard Tickell, in The Wreath of Fashion (1778) 2-3.



First, for true grounds of Sentimental lore,
The scenes of modern Comedy explore;
Dramatic Homilies! devout and sage,
Stor'd with wise maxims, "both for youth and age."
Maxims, that scorning their old homely dress,
Shift from plain proverbs to spruce sentences.
But chief, let Cumberland thy Muse direct;
High Priest of all the Tragic-comic sect!
Mid darts and flames his Lover coolly waits;
Calm as a Hero, cas'd in Hartley's plates;
'Till damp'd, and chill'd, by sentimental sighs,
Each stifled passion in a vapour dies.
Hence form thy taste, hence strew thy temp'rate lay,
With moral raptures, and sententious praise.