1766 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Melmoth

Richard Graves, "To Wililam M—lm—th, Esq; on his Translation of Pliny's Epistles" The Festoon: a Collection of Epigrams (1766) 175.



Tho', justly rank'd the classic wits among,
Great Pliny charms us in his native tongue;
Tho' sense and candour breathe thro' ev'ry page;—
Yet — does his language speak th' Augustan age?
Like Tully good, yet critics still require
The je-n'-scai-quoi which Tully's friends admire;
And, taught by M—lm—th, pedants must confess,
He shines, more perfect, in his English dress.

Henceforth, when men of taste shall chance to name
Each British author of distinguish'd fame,
Amongst our classics Pliny shall be one,
High in the list, with Swift and Addison.