1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

William Woty, "To the Rev. Mr. Dodd" Lloyd's Evening Post (24 April 1761) 385.



Sir,
On hearing that the Rev. Mr. Dodd was to attend Lord Halifax to Ireland, as his Chaplain, I could not refrain troubling you with this tribute to his, and his noble Patron's merit.
I am yours, &c.
W. Woty.
Lincoln's Inn,
April 16, 1761.

In whatsoever grott adorn'd with spar
And gems innumerous, thou sleep'st unseen,
Sweet Echo! wake. Or if in solemn wood
Umbrageous, or along the broider'd vale
Between two neighb'ring hills, thy pillow lies,
Sweet Echo! wake — and to Ierne's shore
Pure thro' the air convey the pleasing sound.
Go! tell her sons what Halifax has done,
(Patron of merit, honour'd by the muse)
That guided by hereditary sense
And singular discernment, well he knew
In virtue's cause on whom to fix his choice,
Ambitious to reward true worth, on thee
Oh DODD! he fix'd his eye, and call'd thee his.
'Twas well — for who that hears the sacred text
By thee explain'd — and who, thy period close,
Mellifluous as nervous, but approves!
Inform'd by thee, Religion, heav'n-born maid,
A blander aspect wears. Despair looks gay,
Nor wrings her hands, or beats her bosom more.

Let not this strain thy delicacy wound,
Forgive the Muse, who publickly declares
It is the note of friendship that she sings,
Yet ah! how those, who hold thy converse dear,
Thy absence will regret! Me will they join
In sympathetic wish, that ev'ry wave
(Altho' they value high their patron's love)
May bear thee back unto thy native shore.

Rejoice Ierne! He, whom thou shalt hear
Elucidate the holy writ, deserves
Thy universal plaudit — for he's good.
Witness the Magdalen, which owes its base
To his and Dingley's plan. Hence from the tongue
Late blister'd o'er with blasphemies, ascends
The fervent note of pray'r, and vice itself
Grows convert to Religion's hallow'd rules.
He too is learn'd — for with a master's hand
He dress'd Calimachus in English robes,
And bending to immortal Shakespear's shrine
Prov'd himself equal to the critick few.