1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Mason

D. H., "To Mr. Mason of Cambridge" British Magazine 4 (August 1749) 344-45.



Ingenious bard, in whose melodious lines
Fancy with judgment happily combines;
Whose great extensive genius unconfin'd
Gives us the boldest sallies of the mind;
You rule the passions with resistless art,
And win an easy passage to the heart.
How far superior to the rhyming race,
In whose dull pages no bright thoughts we trace.
For you, the Muses, twine a flow'ry wreathe,
For you, the Graces, ev'ry Influence breathe.

Each sister art may singly claim applause,
Pope, from the lyre, immortal honours draws;
By well-rang'd colours, Kneller's fame is known,
And Handel's from the charms of sound alone.
Can his be less on whose distinguish'd head
The tuneful Nine their ev'ry blessing shed;
In whom, thy Graces, poetry we find,
With painting, and with harmony combin'd;
In whom, with social union, all agree,
And blend in one the beauties of the three.

Tho' great the honour which on Granta's plains
Was paid the Muses friend in Mason's strains,
Yet Pelham nobly cou'd the wreath resign,
And own the greater share of honour thine.

O still proceed, and charm our list'ning ears,
Nor dread the fopling's laugh, or critick's sneers,
In spight of malice thy harmonious lays
Will shine conspicuous, and demand our praise,
Softness and strength in ev'ry part abound
The nerves of thought and melody of sound,
Unnumber'd beauties sport along each line
To please the fancy, and the taste refine;
But who to paint those beauties can aspire,
Without a spark of your poetick fire.
Thy features, Alexander, well demand
The skilful touches of Apeles hand.