ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Urbanus, "Inscribed to Dr. B—tie" Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement 28 (6 April 1775) 47.
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
1775: James Beattie
Induc'd by no ambition meanly vain,
By mingling in the plaudit of your name,
To pilfer fame which nature hath denied;
Or, from the pliant wreath that on your brow
Sits graceful, aim to pick a twig of laurel:
O lovely songster, fav'rite child of nature!
Accept the warmest tribute of a friend,
Who never dar'd the steep ascent of high
Parnassus — of the Heliconian font,
Th' inspiring stream who never tasted;
On whom the Muses never deign'd to smile,
Yet deeply smitten with th' Aonian lore,
When B—TIE'S magic pen indites the song.
Devoted first to thee accept a strain,
Tho' roughly form'd into poetic numbers,
But wholly void of the poetic fire—
That in the Minstrel fondly would attempt
To trace the various beauties—
What voice thus interrupts my pen? 'Tis Edwin's!
It is the gentle voice of Edwin's genius!
What were his words? "Vain mortal! cease, nor dare
Above thy pow'rs to meditate a task.
Beauties that glow in ev'ry page — that strike
The wond'ring ear, and touch the melting heart,
My honour'd bard himself alone can paint:
In whose illustrious tale simplicity,
Prime ornament of rural song! appears
Dress'd in her chaste and native robe, with charms
Attractive — where purity of diction,
And strong as pure, and elegant as strong,
Add dignity and grace — where to the view
The various openings of the human mind
Unfolding, knowledge in fit gradation
Rises adorned by the finest feelings
Of an impressive soul — where truths divine
And moral, in noble union join'd, goodness
Of heart proclaim — Thou chiefest gift of heav'n!
To thee I suppliant bow! — For without thee
What is the poet's fiction? Fairy tales,
Mere luxury of wit — where numbers soft,
As harp of Aeolus, while it softly vibrates,
Sweetly responsive to the whisp'ring breeze;
Or, as the warbling song of matin lark,
While trem'lous she soars, and, from her airy
Stand, chearly carols to her list'ning mate
Enamour'd, — pour on the ear mellifluous,
Where rhime, or coupled or alternate, chimes,
Or, in the more excursive, wanton range
Of lyric, bane of verse! unfetter'd flows,
And moves with ease and majesty heroic;
Where genius creative, taste refin'd;
Where conduct of the fable, correctly rein'd,
And nicety chastised by sober judgment,
The whole perfections—
I heard despondent,
And felt the force of Edwin's just reproof,
Nor felt in vain. — Let never man, said I,
Pretend to rise above himself, or write
Against his stars — and flung away my pen.
Listen, ye poetasters! learn, be wise.
Banks of Spey.