1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Julius Mickle

Richard Fenton, "To Mr. Mickle" Fenton, Poems (1773) 47-49.



Ingenious MICKLE, thy advent'rous lay
Scorns the worn track, and tempts a devious way:
Thy muse inspir'd with sympathetic pride
Forgoes and throws the humbler reed aside;
Which Mulla hearing slow had roll'd along,
Stay'd with the likeness of her SPENSER'S song;
And dares, superior to the narrow rules,
The pedant fetters which enslave the schools,
Fearless what unheard perils she may prove
In adding laurels to th' Aonian grove,
To pierce the depths of an unclassic shore,
And search a desart for a single flow'r.
Nor has thy hand with a successless toil
The growth transplanted to thy native soil:
Fresh shoots thy Scyon on an English stem;
Thy cut revives the lustre of the gem.
E'en CAMOEN'S self might envy thy success,
And wish his LUSIAD in no other dress:
Fix'd in suspense, and dubious which to boast,
It's first fair form, or transmigration most.
Long had the Muses mark'd th' advancing gloom
Of Gothic night, and fear'd the LUSIAD'S doom.
But fate forbade, and thou wer't sent to save
The wreck just whelm'd beneath oblivion's wave.
'Till now obscure the beauteous work had lain,
Like the new world, ere Gama dar'd the main;
Or, if e'er touch'd on, only known in part,
But faintly shadow'd out in Fanshaw's chart.