1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Butler

William Hayley, in Essay on Epic Poetry (1782) 64.



While COWLEY vanish'd in an amorous riddle,
Up rose the frolic Bard of Bear and Fiddle:
His smile exhilarates the sullen earth,
Adorning Satire in the mask of Mirth:
Taught by his Song, Fanatics cease their jars,
And wise Astrologers renounce the Stars.
Unrivall'd BUTLER! blest with happy skill
To heal by comic verse each serious ill,
By Wit's strong flashes Reason's light dispense,
And laugh a frantic nation into sense!