1775 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

William Woty, in The Graces: A Poetical Epistle; London Chronicle (18 February 1775) 165.



How long in vain did learned JOHNSON toil!
And waste in busy thought the midnight oil:
Whose page the Critics ever must revere,
As long as genius is reputed dear,
Whose heart exults, or swells with honest rage,
As vice, or virtue marks the rising age:
Whose nervous writings shook the trump of fame,
Yet left him nothing but a deathless name.
But when the features of each grace he wore,
And look'd as JOHNSON never look'd before,
Then came the meed, that honourable gain,
Which sheds such lustre over GEORGE'S Reign.
That meed, which no good man can wish remov'd,
Hinted by BUTE, by MAJESTY approv'd.