ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Y., "On some late Attempts to depreciate Milton" Gentleman's Magazine 17 (August 1747) 395.
1674: Andrew Marvell
1674 ca.: Thomas Ellwood
1688: John Dryden
1690: Thomas D'Urfey
1693: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1694: Joseph Addison
1694: Matthew Prior
1699: Samuel Say
1700: Henry Hall
1700: Samuel Cobb
1701: Matthew Prior
1708: Rev. Thomas Yalden
1709: Rev. Isaac Watts
1712: Rev. Thomas Newcomb
1712: Bezaleel Morrice
1713: Rev. Henry Felton
1714: John Hughes
1717: Bp. Francis Atterbury
1720 ca.: Ambrose Philips
1721: Judith Cowper Madan
1725 ca.: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
1728: James Ralph
1730: Aaron Hill
1731: Isaac Thompson
1736: G. W.
1737: Alexander Pope
1740: William Shenstone
1745: Rev. Sneyd Davies
1746: William Collins
1747: William Collins
1748: T. F.
1749: F. W.
1750 ca.: William Oldys
1752: S. S. S.
1755: Robert Lloyd
1756: Rev. Joseph Warton
1756: J. H.
1758: G. G.
1759: M. M.
1762: William Whitehead
1766: Rev. Richard Graves
1766: Robert Andrews of Bridgenorth
1770 ca.: Sir William Jones
1773: Rev. William Hayward Roberts
1773: Hester Mulso Chapone
1774: W. H.
1776: James Beattie
1777: N. N. D.
1782: William Hayley
1785: John Pinkerton
1785: A Lady
1790: Helen Maria Williams
1792: John Bennet
1793: William Cowper
1793: J. Laws
1795 ca.: John Blair Linn
1798: A. M.
1799: William Seward
1799: William Roscoe
1800: Thomas Green
1802: William Wordsworth
1803: George Dyer
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1808: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1810: R. Rylance
1810: Rev. S. B
1810: James Jennings
1812: William Henry Ireland
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1815: Robert Southey
1817: Richard Hatt
1819: Lord Byron
1819: Thomas Mulock
1819: Thomas Campbell
1822: W. W.
1824: William Hazlitt
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: John Abraham Heraud
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825: Thomas Babington Macaulay
1825: Bryan Waller Procter
1826: James Gates Percival
1827: F. S. E.
1828: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1830: George Wallingford Clarke
1830: John Abraham Heraud
1830 ca.: Rev. John Mitford
1830: Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen
1833: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1842: C. H. Timperley
1843: John Holland
1863: George Daniel
1880: Mark Pattison
1882: Epes Sargent
1899: Henry A. Beers
To toil for fame asks all the poet's pains:
And yet how barren is the wreath he gains!
Thus Milton, scarce distinguish'd, bow'd to fate,
And the dear purchas'd lawrel comes too late!
Yet in the grave that lawrel found its root,
And flourish'd high — and bore immortal fruit.
His muse a thousand imitators fir'd,
His muse by distant nations lov'd, admir'd,
In her all Homer's — Virgil's beauties shone,
And Britain call'd the master-piece her own.
With pedant zeal, a modern Bavius cries,
"Milton's a genius! — how encomium lyes!
From foreign stores his boasted plan he drew,
With borrow'd wings, like Icarus, he flew!
Like sly Prometheus stole the heav'nly ray,
That made his man, and warm'd the living clay:
Too long the wretch has fill'd the throne of fame,
Unjust usurper! with a spurious claim!
Not his, the sacred page the boaster writ,
A Jesuit taught him art, a Dutchman wit;
My pen the shameful plagiary shall show,
And blast the bays that bind his guilty brow!"
Enervate critic! — cease thy fruitless rage,
Nor touch with impious hands the hallow'd page!
Bury'd a-new in learning's rev'rend dust,
Let good Masenius unmolested rust;
Let Grotius the Civilian's honour boast,
But as a poet — let his name be lost!
These were like swallows, when the skies are clear
Who skim the earth, and rise to disappear!
Like Jove's own bird, our Milton took his flight
To worlds unknown, and pierc'd the realms of light;
Tho' heav'n, all-wise corporeal sight deny'd;
Internal day, the lesser loss supply'd;
Disdaining succour, and oblig'd to none,
His genius beam'd expansive like the sun:
And till that glorious orb shall cease to shine,
Till sick'ning nature feel her last decline,
Truth shall preserve great Milton's honour'd page:
From Time's encroachment, and from Envy's rage;
Shall blast all vain attempts to wound his fame,
And with new glories grace his honour'd name.