1758 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Richardson

William Hawkins of Oxford, in "Essay on Genius" Dramatic and other Poems (1758) 244-45.



But if due Aid to Genius may be lent,
Much too it suffers by Impediment.
Unhappy is the Bard that deals in Rhyme,
When Wit is obsolete, and Sense a Crime.
When the weak Muse, in a degen'rate Age,
Crawls from the Press, or lamely treads the Stage;
No longer dares to noble Heights advance,
But chimes in Song, or trifles in Romance.
Infected by false Taste great Souls we see,
Who, R—d—n, can Nature paint like thee?
Yet would a Genius toy as thou hast done,
And spin Morality like Grandison?