ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
N. T., "To Dr. Beattie" General Evening Post (20 September 1783).
1761: Robert Lloyd
1765: Thomas Gray
1770: A Lady
1771: Rev. William Mason
1771: James Boswell
1772 ca.: William Warburton
1775: Rev. John Ball
1775 ca.: Rev. Thomas Blacklock
1776: W. P.
1778: John Scott of Amwell
1780: Samuel Johnson
1782: J. W.
1782: J. H.
1783: Horace Walpole
1783: Hannah More
1783: N. T.
1783: David Robertson
1784: Rev. Robert Potter
1784: John Pinkerton
1784: William Cowper
1785 ca.: John Marriott
1787: Robert Burns
1787: Frances Burney
1793: John Thelwall
1794: Robert Alves
1795 ca.: Bp. Richard Hurd
1796: William Hayley
1797: Thomas Green
1798: Thomas James Mathias
1800: Rev. George Butt
1803: Alexander Balfour
1805: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Francis Jeffrey
1807: Francis William Blagdon
1808 ca.: John Herman Merivale
1810 ca.: James Balfour
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1815: William Wordsworth
1819: John Keats
1823: Rev. Charles Burton
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1831: John Wilson
1835: Robert Southey
1851: Robert Pearse Gillies
1880: George Saintsbury
1882: Epes Sargent
1906: George Saintsbury
1783: James Beattie
Hail thou, whose Muse, contemning grandeur's bowers
Erewhile, in native dignity array'd,
An artless "shepherd boys" unfolding powers,
And bright romantic reveries display'd,
In strains, which strong oblivion's envious shade,
Secure in genuine grace, can never fear,
While magic harmony's delightful aid,
While chaste simplicity's enchanting air,
And fancy's vivid flow'rs the poet's toils endear.
Oh! thou so favour'd by the tuneful Nine;
Tho' fond with plausive breath thy name to raise,
Taste, beauty, judgment, piety combine,
Accept the thanks a youthful rustic pays;
Whom yet the beauties of thy polish'd lays,
With mingled sorrow and regret inspire,
(Tho' much he could thy recent labours praise)
That silent sleeps so long thy tuneful fire,
And all neglected lies the more illustrious lyre.
The landscape bright, the thought, with justness new,
Portray'd in prose, can interest the heart;
But (tho' unchang'd the thought, unchang'd the view)
A more consummate pleasure they impart,
Embellish'd by the sweet Phoebean art;
When poesy exults, or tender grieves,
Much more of joy we feel, or pitying smart;
While memory, on her most retentive leaves,
Smit with the charm of sound, the dulcet notes receives.
But, ah! how few of Genius' honour'd train
Possess with strength of mind poetic skill!
And ev'n of those how oft the soothing strain
Infuses grovelling thoughts and passions ill!—
O suasive, elegant, sublime at will,
Whose spotless page ne'er shelter'd aught impure;
Employ thy talents yet again t' instill
The liberal wish — from lust of gain secure,
And to fair Virtue's paths the wav'ring heart allure.
Yet, yet, sweet bard, resume thy Edwin's tale;
When manhood's dangerous eminence he gain'd,
Oh! say, what fates th' ingenuous youth befel;
What lovely maid his gentle bosom pain'd,
And with sweet artlessness his heart enchain'd,
"Ye cherub train, that brought him on his way,"
As yet with pride and black distrust unstain'd,
"Oh! leave him not 'midst tumult and dismay!"
Warm Love, and thankful Hope, and mild Contentment, stay.
These simple rhymes shall unlamented die,
And quickly vanish in oblivion due:
Yet should'st thou chance, with condescending eye,
The fond request, therein preferr'd, to view,
And thence arous'd, that pleasing theme pursue;
Then to the bare request, however penn'd,
Of praise some slender portion might accrue,
Then might my name, avowed, to fame pretend,
And gentle souls unborn my useful zeal commend.