ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
A Lady, "On Mr. Beattie's Essay on Truth" Scots Magazine 32 (August 1770) 442.
1761: Robert Lloyd
1765: Thomas Gray
1770: A Lady
1771: Rev. William Mason
1771: James Boswell
1772 ca.: William Warburton
1775: Rev. John Ball
1775 ca.: Rev. Thomas Blacklock
1776: W. P.
1778: John Scott of Amwell
1780: Samuel Johnson
1782: J. W.
1782: J. H.
1783: Horace Walpole
1783: Hannah More
1783: N. T.
1783: David Robertson
1784: Rev. Robert Potter
1784: John Pinkerton
1784: William Cowper
1785 ca.: John Marriott
1787: Robert Burns
1787: Frances Burney
1793: John Thelwall
1794: Robert Alves
1795 ca.: Bp. Richard Hurd
1796: William Hayley
1797: Thomas Green
1798: Thomas James Mathias
1800: Rev. George Butt
1803: Alexander Balfour
1805: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Francis Jeffrey
1807: Francis William Blagdon
1808 ca.: John Herman Merivale
1810 ca.: James Balfour
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1815: William Wordsworth
1819: John Keats
1823: Rev. Charles Burton
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1831: John Wilson
1835: Robert Southey
1851: Robert Pearse Gillies
1880: George Saintsbury
1882: Epes Sargent
1906: George Saintsbury
1744: Alexander Pope
1761: Sir Joseph Mawbey
1763 ca.: William Shenstone
1768: Sir Joseph Mawbey
1770: James Beattie
1775: Rev. Robert Colvill
1778: Richard Tickell
1781: Rev. Charles Churchill
1785: Lady Sophia Burrell
1785: John Milton
1786: Samuel Johnson
1786: Dr. John Wolcot
1787: William Cowper
1790: David Humphreys
1794: Charlotte Smith
1796: Robert Burns
1796: William Hayley
1797: Elizabeth Montagu
1811: Edward Jerningham
1817: Bp. Richard Mant
1820: John Clare
1820: Rev. John Wesley
From Error's maze to guard unthinking youth,
And gently lead them to the pale of Truth;
Or with her light those hapless souls pervade,
Who stray bewilder'd through the gloomy shade
Of Sophistry, — A wilderness how dread!
Where weeds obscene a baleful vapour shed;
Such chilling dews as numb each noble part;
The deadly night-shades of the human heart!
To snatch, if not too late, from this sad path,
Ere every virtue sink o'erwhelm'd in death;
And from th' abyss of intellectual night,
Transport the soul to joys of heaven-born light;
Where liberty, and truth, and love divine,
And science, in eternal radiance shine,
And Sympathy, whose sweet creative fire
True taste and genius only can inspire:
Such is our author's aim. — Meanwhile his foes
Arise in arms all furious to oppose.
Blind Prejudice, in mischief ever keen;
And Envy, squinting with infernal mien;
And, deck'd in French embroidery, letter'd Pride,
The puppy Fashion fawning at his side;
And sciolists, and fops, a numerous band,
Appear prepar'd his progress to withstand.
But undismay'd Truth's champion moves along,
And views with eye of scorn the gathering throng.
Truth points his darts, and Virtue forms his shield,
Their royal banner waves upon the field:
The known insignia quick conviction spread,
And the pale sceptic hides his guilty head.
Hail to the bard, whose heav'n-inspir'd lays
Can touch the feeling soul a thousand ways!
How had my raptur'd heart their power confess'd!
How has thy song the throb of care repress'd!
On thy angelic Muse's wings up-born,
I lose the world, its smiles, its frowns, and scorn.
Hail to the man! whose independent soul
Disdains to crouch to Fashion's base controul:
Who holds the pleasures of a virtuous heart
More dear than all that riches can impart;
And of pure truth would barter not one grain,
For all that captivates the great and vain.
But hail, thrice hail, thou friend of human kind,
Who clear'st from sceptic mist th' exulting mind.
Though Genius and the Muses all unite
To deck thee with a pure unborrow'd light;
Not less this work shall eternize thy name,
But rank thee with the favourite sons of fame.
Edinburgh, Aug 1, 1770.