1790 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Fielding

George Hardinge, "At the Upton Inn, celebrated by Fielding" 1790 ca.; Hardinge, Miscellaneous Works (1818) 2:62.



Here upon Fairy-land I tread,
And, classic visions in my head,
On Fielding's animated stage
With all his combatants engage.
The Landlord's pugilistic strife,
The courtly morals of his Wife,
The duel of the amorous pair,
When Love consents to pudding fare,
And Folly's brightly comic doom
With local transport I resume,
In Irish anger's cloudy head,
Or by the pedant Barber fed.

But oh! what Muse can praise enough
That Angel's implement, the Muff—
Severe, though delicate rebuke,
That Reason to the centre shook?
Or Beauty's agonizing tear,
That Love to Virtue could endear?

Immortal Artist! Nature's hand
Has made thy pen the heart command;
The boy, the girl, the old and young,
Have upon thee enraptur'd hung.
In thee with magic lustre glows
The Shakespeare of dramatic prose:

The gallant Youth's ingenuous heart
Scorns the deceitful Blifil's part:
The Virgin, modest as the rose,
Enamour'd of her mirrour grows:
Blest that in her Sophia lives,
The Hero of the Tale forgives.