1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Edwards

Anonymous, "Sonnet. To the Author of the Canons of Criticism" Public Advertiser (16 June 1763).



EDWARDS, sweet bard! thy nervous muse impart,
My language soft'n, and my sense refine,
That I with equal elegance may shine,
And charm the list'ning ear, and mend the heart.
T' encourage virtue, and make folly smart,
Let wit and sentiment grace ev'ry line,
And harmony with solid wisdom join,
Then shall I reach perfection in this art.
My soul, ambitious of immortal fame,
Thus vainly 'ttempts with pinion'd wings to soar
The heights which thy far nobler muse has gain'd:
So Phaeton did of old at glory aim,
Nor saw the danger, nor his scheme gave o'er,
Till Jove the earth with his mad blood distain'd.