1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Philips

William Thompson, "Garden Inscriptions: In the midst of an Apple-Tree, over Mr. Philips's Cyder" in The Poetical Calendar (1763) 8:118.



If he, who first the apple sung, "the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,"
Unfading laurels won; a branch awaits,
Philips, thy youthful brow: who apples sung
Innocuous, and with freedom bad us quaff
Their generous nectar, 'neath their parent shade,
Adventurous; nor in less inferior strains.
Like Milton too, you taught Britannia's song
To shake the shackles off of tinkling rhime,
Emasculate, unnervous; female verse.
Since modesty (still modesty attends
On worth like thine) forbids thee to accept
The parted wreath, let Milton's be the first,
Unrivall'd; be the second honours thine.
And now (for Leo, from his flaming mane,
Shakes sultry rays intense, provoking thirst)
O Philips, while my well-glaz'd tube exhales
Nicotian fragrance, and my rummer shines
With cyder sparkling high, partake my shade,
Pleas'd with Pomona's haunts, and cool recess,
Her purple-breathing births sweet-smiling round.