1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Francis Fawkes

William Rider, "To the Rev. Mr. Fawkes, on reading his Complete Family Bible" Bath Journal (14 December 1761) 198.



Sage Prophet, Seer, or whatever Name
Is grateful to the hollow of thine Ear;
Who climb it on Jacob's Ladder up to Fame,
And art to ev'ry Christian Bosom dear.

Whether with Kimchi Learning's Deeps you sound,
Or with Maimonides shall Truth explore,
Thy Lore still shines with Elegance profound,
And still the more we read, we praise the more.

Proceed, great Sage, nor let thy Task affright,
Tho' Glooms arise to interrupt thy View,
Thy heav'nly Guest shall say, "Let there be Light,"
And from thy Pisgah heav'nly Glories shew.

Whatever yet the lab'ring Sage hath known
In Virtue's Realms, or Faith's unnotic'd Land,
With nightly Study thou hast made thy own,
And dealt to others with a chearful Hand.

In vain the Sceptic with unhallow'd Doubt,
Shall strive to brand the sacred Page with Blame,
Thy Pen shall ev'ry envious Cavil rout,
And teach ev'n Babes to praise Jehovah's Name.

In vain the Classic boasts his learned Store,
Compar'd with Scripture, all his Lustre's dark;
So when Philistines Dagon rear'd of yore,
He mutilated * beneath the Ark.

Forgive me, whilst I thus pervert thy Time,
Thy Time devoted to the sacred Page:
Nor frowning deem my Gratitude a Crime,
Tho' all thy Life be spent to teach the Age.
St. Paul's School, Dec. 3, 1761.