ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, "On Milton's Paradise Lost" 1674; Marvell, Poems (1681) 61-62.
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
1645 ca.: Richard Flecknoe
1661 ca.: Thomas May
1672: Samuel Butler
1674: John Milton
When I behold the Poet blind, yet bold,
In slender Book his vast Design unfold,
Messiah Crown'd, God's Reconcil'd Decree,
Rebelling Angels, the Forbidden Tree,
Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, All; the Argument
Held me a while misdoubting his Intent,
That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
The sacred Truths to Fable and old Song;
(So Sampson groap'd the Temples Posts in spight)
The World o'rewhelming to revenge his Sight.
Yet as I read, soon growing less severe,
I lik'd his Project, the success did fear;
Through that wide Field how he his way should find
O'er which lame Faith leads Understanding blind;
Lest he perplext the things he would explain,
And what was easie he should render vain.
Or if a Work so infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet alwayes what is well,
And by ill imitating would excell)
Might hence presume the whole Creations day
To change in Scenes, and show it in a Play.
Pardon me, mighty Poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy Labours to pretend a Share.
Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for Writers left,
But to detect their Ignorance or Theft.
That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign
Draws the Devout, deterring the Profane.
And things divine thou treat'st of in each state
As them preserves, and Thee inviolate.
At once delight and horrour on us seize,
Thou singst with so much gravity and ease;
And above humane flight dost soar aloft,
With Plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The Bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing
So never Flags, but alwaies keeps on Wing.
Where couldst thou words of such a compass find?
Whence furnish such a vast expence of Mind?
Just Heav'n Thee, like Tiresias, to requite,
Rewards with Prophecie thy loss of Sight.
Well mightst thou scorn thy Readers to allure
With tinkling Rhime, of thy own Sense secure;
While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells,
And, like a Pack-Horse, tires without his Bells.
Their Fancies like our bushy Points appear,
The Poets tag them; we for fashion wear.
I too transported by the Mode offend,
And, while I meant to Praise thee, must Commend.
Thy verse created like thy Theme sublime,
In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.