1754 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Edwards

John Duncombe, "To Thomas Edwards, Esq." 1754; Poetical Magazine or the Muses Monthly Companion (1764) 259.



Though thro' the paths that Ennius trod before
Great Maro stray'd, he smooth'd the rugged way.
No antique phrase obscur'd his courtly lay,
No dross was blended with his sterling ore.
From Dryden's polish'd strains old Chaucer's lore
Derives new lustre; pleas'd we there survey
Each mist dispers'd that skreen'd his peerless ray,
And at our fleeting language grieve no more.
Why then dost thou, great Spenser's genuine son,
Too fondly emulous, that vestment wear,
Which in Eliza's court adorn'd they sire?
From sonnets durance freed, no longer shun
The purple paths; so shall each artless fair
Seeing approve, and knowing thee admire.