1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hoole

Anonymous, "Character" General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (30 January 1778).



HOOLE to the stage his annual tribute sends,
Tho' not transcendent, yet he scarce offends.
If perseverence could one poet raise,
Or application gain a poet praise,
HOOLE bears a claim outrating all the rest;
Of all the plodding play-wrights, HOOLE'S the best;
By method and by rule he writes each play,
Packs up his tools, and sends his work away;
Like to some Crispin fitting well his friend,
Puts up his awl, his lapstone, and his end;
Is rightly pleas'd to find his job compleat,
Made to his mind mechanically neat.
Then this reflection's ever sure to rise,
The last will make a hundred of the size:
But method rarely is to Genius known,
The seeds of Fancy are at random sown.
Eccentric ever, and without controul,
Are all the flights of an unraptur'd soul;
True Genius knows no bounds, but takes her flight,
Disdaining rule — precariously right.