1735 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Bentley

Asmodeo, "Horace: Book II. Ode 14th. imitated" Gentleman's Magazine 5 (October 1735) 615.



How swift, alas! the rolling years
Haste to devour their destin'd prey,
A moth each winged minute bears,
Which still in vain the stationers
From the dead authors, sweep away,
And troops of canker worms with secret pride,
Thro' gay vermillion leaves, and gilded covers glide.

Great B—nt—y! should thy critic vein
Each day supply the teaming press,
Of ink should'st thou whole rivers drain,
Not one octavo should remain,
To shew thy learning and address.
Oblivion drags them to her silent cell,
Where great king Arthur and his nobles dwell.

Authors of every size and name,
Knights, squires, and doctors of all colours,
From the pursuit of lasting fame,
Retiring there a mansion claim;
Behold the fate of modern scholars!
Why will you then with hopes delusive led,
For various readings toil which never will be read.

With silver clasp, and corner plate,
You fortify the favourite book,
Fear not from worms, nor time your fate,
More cruel foes your works await,
The butler, with th' impatient cook,
And pastry nymphs with trunk-makers combine
To ease the groaning shelves, and spoil the fair design.