1766 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Scott

W. W. [William Woty?], "On reading Mr. Scott's Perils of Poetry" London Evening Post (15 March 1766).



To thee, O SCOTT! deservedly belong
The various Numbers of poetic Song.
Tho' the bright Forms in Fancy's fairy Land
Wake at thy Call, and rise at thy Command,
Our modern Wits will critically join
To damn the rough Chance-medley of a Line.
On Faults alone they dwell, nor more regard
The well-turn'd Verse and Beauties of the Bard.
So, when some striking Picture hangs in View,
Such, as of old, the bold Correggio drew,
If one false drawing in the Piece is seen,
The shallow Judgeling vents his little Spleen;
Nor once admires the richness of the Tint,
But turns aside, and cries, "there's nothing in't;"
In coarsest Phrase he sputters out his Soul,
And for one casual Flaw condemns the whole.