1723 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Francis Atterbury

"George Kelly," "On the Right Reverend Father in God Francis, late Lord Bishop of Rochester" Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer (9 November 1723) 2703.



From the fam'd Walls, by Caesar built, I send
This fond Epistle to my injur'd Friend.
Since Fate, that all thy Labours has withstood,
Denies thee to recal the STUART'S Blood;
Since now thou can'st with me conspire no more
To raise the Mitre, and its Power restore;
Well dost thou try from Verse Relief to find;
Verse can charm Care, and sooth the Exile's Mind:
Nor is it Treason, or will stand a Crime,
To write thy own unquestion'd Praise in Rhime;
Not Walpole shall this Privilege restrain,
Nor rob thee of the Pleasure to be vain.

Whate'er thou writ'st, believe me, I approve,
A partial Critick tow'rds the Man I love,
That Love, that Zeal, which always plead for Thee,
Hide from my Sight the Stains that others see:
Yet now, I own, an Error I descry,
But view that Error with a friendly Eye:
O! then forgive, and call it not severe,
If for the Fame of ILLINGTON I fear;
Nor scorn th' Advice, while I thy Friend, advise,
Praise thy great Self, but in that Praise be wise;
And when thy Virtues next engage thy Muse,
A fitter Scheme, and more agreeing chuse;

Since none, not I, thy Deeds who fondly view,
Can trace a Parallel exactly true,
(Tho' long my darling Passion I have nurst)
Betwixt the second Tully and the First.

This Parallel the envious Whigs deride,
And rudely treat at once thy Parts, and Pride;
Rome's Orator, they cry, grew justly great;
The Hand that rescu'd, not enslav'd the State!
Unweary'd still with factious Arts to strive,
He baffled Treasons, but did ne'er contrive:
In Eloquence did he unrival'd shine;
A little, and disputed Laurel, Thine!

Thus do they talk, thus exercise their Rage
Against thy Virtue, and thy deathless Page:
Howe'er, my Friend, not wholly be deprest,
Nor nourish Anguish in thy pious Breast;
Tho' many Tongues assail thy spotless Name;
Tho' none allow thee the great Consul's Fame;
Yet all this Truth confess, ev'n Whigs, thy Foes,
Thy Rhimes like Tully's are, howe'er unlike thy Prose.
Geo. K-lly.
Tower, Nov. 4.
1723.