1760 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Anonymous, "An Epistle from Thomas Herne, Antiquary, to Thomas W-rt-n, Antiquary" London Chronicle (24 April 1760) 400.



"Occasioned by a Pamphlet lately published at Oxford, intituled A Companion to the Guide, &c."

Friend of the moss-grown spire and crumbling arch,
Who wont'st at eve to pace the long-lost bounds
Of lonesome Osney! What malignant fiend
Thy cloister-loving mind, from ancient lore,
Hath base seduc'd? urg'd thy apostate pen
To trench deep wounds on Antiquaries sage,
And drag the venerable Fathers forth,
Victims to Laughter! Cruel as the mandate
Of mitred priests, who Baskett late enjoin'd
To throw aside the reverend letters black,
And print Fast-prayers in modern type! — At this
Leland and Willis, Dugdale, Tanner, Wood,
Illustrious names! with Camden, Awbrey, Lloyd,
Scald their old cheeks with tears! for once they hop'd
To seal thee for their own! and fondly deem'd
The Muses, at thy call, would crowding come
To deck Antiquity with flowrets gay.

But now may curses every search attend
That seems inviting: may'st thou pore in vain
For dubious Door-ways! May revengeful moths
Thy Ledgers eat! May revengeful Spouts
Retain no cypher legibile! May Crypts
Lurk undiscern'd! Nor may'st thou spell the names
Of Saints in storied Windows! Nor that Dates
Of Bells discover! Nor the genuine Site
Of abbots' Pantries! And may Godstowe veil
Deep from thy eyes profane her Gothic charms!