1745 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Alleyn

R., "Written on the Wall of the College of God's Gift at Dulwich, founded by Edward Alleyn, Esq." Gentleman's Magazine 15 (August 1745) 440.



Attend, vain shade of Aegypt's mighty lord,
For sumptuous walls, and tow'ring piles ador'd,
Whose hand laborious taught their pride to rise,
To spurn afflicted earth, and threat the skies,
Own you mistook the road to real fame;
And view these humbler roofs with conscious shame.
Say, to what end you rear'd each mighty tow'r;
Each fond effect of too luxuriant pow'r?
Say, to what end thy lab'ring subjects groan:
And load whole regions with a mass of stone?
Say, where the praise whole millions to consume,
And lie, magnific, in a splendid tomb?
See for the poor, these friendly walls appear;
Want finds relief, and charity is here.
Here, let the honest, and distress'd repair,
And with their maker's bless the founder's care.
Survey the joys that charity can bring,
And see the player far excel the king.
Courts to the dead thy mighty fabrics give;
These walls receive, and nourish those who live.