1735 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Savage

Misc., "Occasion'd by an Epistle not yet published by Richard Savage" Gentleman's Magazine 5 (April 1735) 213.



For cruel murder doom'd to Hempen death,
S—e, by royal grace, prolong'd his breath.
Well might you think, he'd spend his future years
In pray'r, in fasting, and repentant tears;
The least you could expect, for bloody strife
To make atonement, was a peaceful life.—
But, O vain hope! — the truly Savage cries,
"Priests, and their slavish doctrines, I despise.
Shall I —
Who by free thinking to free action fir'd,
In midnight brawls a deathless name acquir'd,
Now stoop to learn of ecclesiastic men;
To truth and peace confine my witling pen,
And write like Codex, W—r, S—, V—?
No: arm'd with rhime, at priests I'll take my aim,
Tho' prudence bids me murder but their fame."

Thus he; while others hail the happy men
Malign'd by such a foe, traduc'd by such a pen!