1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

Percival Stockdale, "Inscription of a Vase in a Grove of Gwaynynog, near Denbigh" Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (2 November 1778).



Here Gratitude inscribes her Johnson's name,
Fraught with the Sage's, and the Poet's fame.
Johnson, whose ardent, and harmonious prose,
With all the majesty of Plato flows;
Whose virtuous Muse ne'er prun'd the venal wing;
Nor Flattery learn'd, when pension'd by a King;
Ne'er meanly pleas'd the idle, or the vain;
But rais'd the moral, to the Christian strain:
Or, Glory's hint, ambitious to pursue,
With Shakespear's magic pencil, SHAKESPEAR drew.

Thy name, oh Johnson! consecrates this ground,
And spreads its powerful influence around;
Calls new expression from each murmuring stream,
And bids their music prompt the gen'rous theme;
With Delphic breeze, bids every grove, inclin'd,
Bring all Apollo to the Poet's mind.

Accept the stone; accept the verse, from friends,
Who honour greatness for no sordid ends;
The love of genius, and of truths divine,
The marble polish'd, and inspir'd the line.