1733 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Anonymous, "On Dean S—t's asserting the Superiority of the Antients over the Moderns" The Bee, or Weekly Pamphlet 1 (17 February 1733) 84-85.



While the D—n, with more Wit than Man ever wanted,
Or at least more than Heaven to Man ever granted,
Endeavours to prove how the Antients in Knowledge,
Have excell'd our Adepts of each modern College;
How by Heroes of old our Chiefs are surpass'd,
In each useful Science, true Learning, and Taste:
While thus he behaves with more Courage than Manners,
And fights for the Foe, deserting our Banners:
While Bentley, and Wotton, our Champions, he foils,
And wants neither Temple's Assistance, nor Boyle's;
In Spite of his Learning, fine Reasons, and Stile,
(Wou'd ye think it?) He favours our Cause all the while;
We raise by his Conquest our Glory the higher,
And from a Defeat to a Triumph aspire:
Our great Brother Modern, the Boast of our Days,
Unconscious, has gain'd for our Party the Bays:
St. James's old Authors, so fam'd on each Shelf,
Are vanquish'd by what he has written himself.