1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Diaper

Eumenes, in Lloyd's Evening Post (4 November 1763) 434.



Sir,

In the Poetical Calendar for September, I find a noble philosophical Poem, called the Dryads, or Wood-Nymphs, written by Mr. Diaper. It was first published fifty years ago. The Author was patronised by the Earl of Oxford, the Earl of Bolingbroke, Sir William Wyndham, &c. but, as he was advancing in fame and fortune, was unfortunately drowned in passing a river. In the year 1711, he published the Nereids. These have also been long out of print; about the same time he joined with Mr. Rowe in a translation of the Abbe Quillet's Callipaedia.

Tho' this Poem was published half a century ago, there are many lines in it no less applicable to the present times; but corrupt human nature generally acts uniformly in the same circumstances. Take the following examples of this truth;

Touch'd with the rose, the jetty beetle dies,
And from the spicy hills the vulture flies;
So baser souls abhor the sweets of peace,
Whose private gains by public loss increase.
The pensive lark retires, and silent grieves;
But chatt'ring birds salute the falling flood.
And with the mixt clamours hail the teeming cloud;
For then, (a grateful prey,) the horned snail,
And worms, o'er moisten'd clods, their folding bodies trail.
Designing men the public welfare hate,
Who cannot rise but on a ruin'd state.

Britannia's sons, like those of monstrous birth,
When serpents teeth were sown in furrow'd earth,
Enflam'd with rage, and prone to mutual hate,
With baneful strife distract the factious state.
War is now thought the panaceal good;
Quacks know no other cure but letting blood,
Ev'n when the dying wretch already faints,
And not a lancet, but a cordial wants.
Those, who cou'd with all temples shut beside,
Ne'er think the gates of Janus set too wide;
For endless slaughter as a blessing pray:
Farewell the humble Muse, and Shepherd's peaceful lay!

I am, Sir,
Your humble Servant,
EUMENES.