1751 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Lauder

John Duncombe, "Horace, Ode Bk. 4 No. 2 imitated. To the Rev. Mr. Douglas" 1751; Works of Horace, ed. Duncombe (1757) 1:426-27.



Whoe'er, with impious Hand, essays
To sully Milton's spotless Lays,
In grisly Form will soon appear,
Like Lauder, touch'd with your Ithurial-Spear,
As from Plinlimmon, swoln with Showers
And wintry Snows, Sabrina pours
Down Cambria's Vales; so Milton's Song
With unresisted Fury sweeps along.
Th' Homeric Wreath he well may claim,
(Like Him in Fortune as in Fame,)
Whether high Heaven resound th' Alarms
Of Angels and Archangels, clad in Arms;
Or whether he thro' Eden leads
Our Steps, o'er Lawns and flowery Meads,
Where the fring'd Bank green Myrtles crown,
And Shades, unpierc'd, the noon-tide Bowers imbrown.
Whene'er, to vain Delights a Foe,
He pensive strikes the Strings of Woe;
Or bids Euphrosyne the Lyre
Resume, and warble to the dancing Choir;
Or crowns his lost Companion's Shrine,
Or bids us Comus' Revels join;
Not Hayman's or Roubilliac's Art
Such Life, such Grace, such Energy impart!
Thro' Tracts conceal'd from mortal Sight
Our British Eagle wings his Flight,
And basks, undazzled at the Blaze,
Like his own Uriel, in the Solar Rays.
My Muse, with weak but arduous Toil,
Culls, like the Bee, her balmy Spoil,
Ambitious, in these classic Bowers,
To draw Horatian Sweets from British Flowers.
Mean while 'tis yours, with patriot Zeal,
This dark Imposture to reveal,
And deathless Amaranth, which grew
Fast by the Tree of Life, now blooms for You.