1726 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Laurence Eusden

William Pattison, "To Mr. Eusden, desiring his Corrections on a Poem" 1726; in Pattison, Works (1728) 157-58.



Dear SIR,
If what a grateful Heart can give,
May meet a kind Reception, This receive;
To these low, humble Lines, a while unbend,
And let the Critic soften to the Friend;
Let human Candor aid the judging Art,
And thy Head ever dictate from the Heart!

Fond to be thought a Candidate for Fame,
My Muse, Ambitious, takes a lofty Aim;
But, ah! too bold her Wish, too large her View,
Unless approv'd, unless inspir'd by you;
Unless you tune her Notes, in vain she sings,
Unless you Aid, in vain she spreads her Wings;
Aw'd by your Word, she'll, blushing own her Fault,
Disclaiming each Extravagance of Thought;
Nature, and Art, at once, like you, dispence,
And ripen Fancy into Strength of Sense.

Thus, tender Trees, with Flowers luxuriant Smile,
Waste their vain Sap, ungrateful to their Soil;
Till some wise Hand, with kind corrective Care,
Prune their gay Pride, and bid their Branches bear:
Then Fruits, and Flowers, promiscuously abound,
Teem from the Stroke, and Blossom from the Wound.
Sidney College,
Jan. 27. 1725-26.