ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, in Poetae Britannici (1700) 10-11.
1598: Rev. Francis Meres
1603: Hugh Holland
1605: Hugh Holland
1605: George Chapman
1607: Francis Beaumont
1607: George Chapman
1611 ca.: John Davies of Hereford
1611: Francis Beaumont
1611: John Fletcher
1611: Nathaniel Field
1612: John Taylor the Water Poet
1616: William Browne of Tavistock
1616: Edward Heyward
1618 ca.: Edmund Bolton
1619: William Drummond
1620: Henry Peacham
1627: Michael Drayton
1632 ca.: Thomas Randolph
1637: Henry King
1637: Rev. William Cartwright
1637: John Suckling
1638: Lucius Cary
1638: Thomas May
1638: Edmund Waller
1638: Joseph Rutter
1638: Shakerley Marmion
1638: Owen Feltham
1638: William Habington
1639: Thomas Bancroft
1646: Samuel Sheppard
1648: Rev. Robert Herrick
1651: Samuel Sheppard
1670 ca.: Lord Clarendon
1675: Edward Phillips
1678: John Oldham
1682: Thomas Shadwell
1683: John Dryden
1687: William Winstanley
1689: Edward Howard
1699: Charles Gildon
1700: Samuel Cobb
1711: Elijah Fenton
1720: Giles Jacob
1750 ca.: William Oldys
1761: Rev. Charles Churchill
1779: J. H.
1784: Rev. Joseph Warton
1793: Isaac D'Israeli
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1797: Rev. Joseph Warton
1799: William Seward
1800: Dr. Nathan Drake
1805: Rev. Henry John Todd
1817: John Hamilton Reynolds
1819: Thomas Campbell
1820: William Hazlitt
1823: J. C. B.
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1834: Robert Aris Willmott
1835: L. L.
1836: Richard Cattermole
1837: Henry Hallam
1842: C. H. Timperley
1844: Leigh Hunt
1847: Edward Farr
1852: Mary Russell Mitford
1860: George Gilfillan
1880: A. W. Ward
1700: Sir Richard Blackmore
1700: Thomas Brown
1700: William Congreve
1700: Abraham Cowley
1700: Thomas D'Urfey
1700: Sir John Denham
1700: John Dryden
1700: John Fletcher
1700: Charles Gildon
1700: Ben Jonson
1700: Nathaniel Lee
1700: Rev. Luke Milbourne
1700: John Milton
1700: John Oldham
1700: Thomas Rymer
1700: Edmund Waller
1700: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1707: Joseph Addison
1707: Matthew Prior
Sunk in a Sea of Ignorance we lay,
Till Chaucer rose, and pointed out the Day.
A Joking Bard, whose Antiquated Muse
In mouldy Words could solid Sense produce.
Our English Ennius He, who claim'd his part
In wealthy Nature, tho' unskill'd in Art.
The sparkling Diamond on his Dung-hill shines,
And Golden Fragments glitter in his Lines.
Which Spencer gather'd, for his Learning known,
And by successful Gleanings made his Own.
So careful Bees, on a fair Summers Day,
Hum o'er the Flowers, and suck the Sweets away.
Of Gloriana, and her Knights he sung,
Of Beasts, which from his pregnant Fancy sprung.
O had thy Poet, Britany, rely'd
On Native Strength, and Foreign Aid deny'd,
Had not wild Fairies blasted his design,
Maeonides and Virgil had been Thine!
Their finish'd Poems he exactly view'd,
But Chaucer's Steps Religiously pursu'd.
He cull'd and pick'd, and thought it greater praise
T' adore his Master, than improve his Phrase.
'Twas counted Sin to deviate from his Page;
So Sacred was th' Authority of Age!
The Coin must sure for currant Sterling pass,
Stamp'd with old Chaucer's Venerable Face.
But Johnson found it of a gross Allay,
Melted it down, and flung the Scum away.
He dug pure Silver from a Roman Mine,
And prest his Sacred Image on the Coyn.
We all rejoic'd to see the pillag'd Oar;
Our Tongue inrich'd, which was so poor before.
Fear not, Learn'd Poet, our impartial blame,
Such Thefts as these add lustre to thy Name.
Whether thy labour'd Comedies betray
The Sweat of Terence, in thy glorious way,
Or Catiline plots better in thy Play.
Whether his Crimes more excellently shine,
Whether we hear the Consul's Voice Divine,
And doubt which merits most, Rome's Cicero, or Thine.
All yield, consenting to sustain the Yoke,
And learn the Language which the Victor spoke.
So Macedon's Imperial Heroe threw
His Wings abroad, and Conquer'd as he flew.
Great Johnson's Deeds stand Parallel with His,
Are Noble Thefts, successful Piracies.