1721 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Matthew Prior

Anonymous, "Upon the Report of Mr. Prior's Death" Daily Journal (10 October 1721).



Wit, Sense, and Learning, massacred, of late,
By Bards, who pour'd, like Goths and Vandals in,
A Cry, for Vengeance, reach'd the THUNDERER'S Seat,
And Vengeance Just, was ripen'd for the Sin:

When lo! MAT. PRIOR, starting from the Crowd,
Cry'd, "Sovereign JOVE, a while thy Thunder cease—
JOVE smil'd serene, and an aerial Cloud
Took Matthew hence to mediate in a Peace.

Be Hush, ye mungrel Brood, till his return;
Nor, rashly rhiming, say, "The Poet's dead."
What, tho' he were? It is not yours to mourn,
Who ne'er, in Verse, can, uninspir'd, succeed.

When PRIOR bids the British Isles adieu,
Let LANSDOWN, POPE, or CONGREVE sing his Praise:
They, only skill'd, their absent Brother knew,
Nor will the Publick relish meaner Lays.