1712 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Camden

Thomas Newcomb, in Bibliotheca, 1712; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 3:41-42.



Immortal Camden there complains,
Cursing a critick's useless pains;
In modern charms expos'd to view,
He scarce his own Britannia knew;
Adorn'd with wonders which his eye,
A lover's though, could never spy.
Here he beholds huge forests rise
From Danish blood, and meet the skies;
While each complaining tree records
The fate of their unhappy lords:
There Elder weeps, from bleeding vein,
Great Sueno's fall, and Canute slain;
While winter-flowers; each rolling year,
Gay on their verdant stalks appear;
Bloom from the celebrated Thorn,
Mince-pies and windows to adorn,
Which some imagin'd, though untruly,
Not in December born, but July.
See, drawn by his enchanting hand,
Britannia seems a Fairy Land;
Druids and Bards frequent each grove,
and nymphs in every thicket move:
To streams and cooling shades retire,
Kindly to bless some gentle squire,
Unwilling yet too far to stray,
For fear of Satyrs in the way.
Spenser, who sent his chiefs so far
To purchase fame in feats of war,
Might here, not forc'd abroad to roam,
Have met with giants nearer home,
His heroes trembling to defy
Fierce Tudor or victorious Guy.
'Twas pity Sidney's fam'd design
So long, great sage, preceded thine,
Philoclea else the crown had worn,
And Musidorus here been born;
Close by her vanquish'd lover's side
The fair Parthenia too had dy'd.
Thy every page presents our sight
With chiefs as brave, and dames as bright,
As in her fam'd Arcadian plain
Romantic Greece could ever feign;
And for the time to come shall store us
With warriors great as Musidorus,
And every grove oblige our sight
With virgins as Pamela bright;
That, furnish'd with fair rural dames,
Protecting squires, and lovers Dames,
We ne'er shall want a chief for fight,
While thou and great Cervantes write.