1771 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Montagu

Anonymous, "Verses addressed to Mrs. Montague, Author of An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare" Newcastle Chronicle (23 November 1771).



No more let France her critic Dacier boast,
The Queen of isles a Montague adorns,
Whose genius tow'ring, as her Albion's coast,
The pedant sons of abject slav'ry scorns.

Fair blooms the wreath thy generous hand has wove,
With laurels green thou deck'st thy Shakespear's head;
Immortal Genius doth the task approve,
And bids his Poet's glories round thee spread.

Thy gen'rous pen was destin'd sure to guard
From Gallic ignorance his injur'd name,
With polish'd science to adorn the bard,
Bold to admire, yet not afraid to blame.

O! could his shade, where peace, where wisdom reigns,
Thy nervous page behold, with wonder fraught,
Even there the bard would bless thy friendly strains,
And own his magic felt, his genius caught.

There would he wish, (if there a wish can be)
Whene'er his Montague from earth retires,
Her form on those seraphic realms to see,
And tell the gratitude his bosom fires.