ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Rev. Isaac Watts
, "Written in a Blank Leaf of Dr. Watts's Lyric Poems (being a Present to a Lady)" 1730 ca.; Universal Magazine 29 (Supplement, 1761) 166.
Rev. Isaac Watts:
1696: John Hughes
1718: Sir Richard Blackmore
1730 ca.: Rev. James Hervey
1737: J. W., aetat 17
1740: J. W.
1741: Mather Byles
1748: Susanna Highmore
1749: Rev. Moses Browne
1749: B. Sowden
1756: Samuel Johnson
1780: Rev. Thomas Gibbons
1781: William Cowper
1781: T. N.
1795: Dr. Robert Anderson
1799: Thomas Green
1802: George Dyer
1807: Robert Southey
1819: Thomas Campbell
1822: Tobias Oldschool
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1843: John Holland
1860: George Gilfillan
1868: George Macdonald
1882: Epes Sargent
Rev. James Hervey:
1730 ca.: Rev. Isaac Watts
1747: Samuel Richardson
1749: Samuel Boyse
1750: Rev. Moses Browne
1752: Dr. Nathaniel Cotton
1752 ca.: Rev. William Thompson
1756 ca.: Dr. John Armstrong
1756 ca.: Rev. William Mason
Attend, fair maid, nor conscious blushes fear,
While Watts and virtue entertain the ear.
The Nine, forgetful of their glorious rise,
Oft sink to slaves, and basely pimp for vice;
Tho' sent from heav'n, with nicest strokes of art
At once to please and to reform the heart,
They toil in drudg'ry to a shameful stage,
Poison the music, and pollute the page;
Lewdly jocose, or blasphemously bold,
Tempt to new sins by gilding o'er the old.
Here shines the muse, with spotless beauty grac'd,
Bright as an angel, as a Vestal chaste;
No scenes of lust defile the sprightly lay,
Grave though polite, without profaneness gay;
No trifling themes debase the nobler song,
Here soft as is your sex, there as your glances strong.
No more let comic wit attention find,
It strikes the fancy, but corrupts the mind.
No more to tragic flights applauses grant,
They raise the genius, but retard the saint.
On these choice lines your curious taste regale,
Where ease and strength, where sense and sound prevail;
Where ev'ry grace of speech, each lively thought,
Each just idea's to perfection wrought.
Oh! would you drink the sweetly-pious strains,
Till the glad soul seraphic ardour gains;
Till the soft notes o'er all the passions rove,
And sooth and calm, or turn them all to love,
To pure to sacred love, that greatly springs
To highest objects and immortal things,
And soars and mounts the skies upon the poet's wings:
Oh! would you read, learn, and live o'er the muse,
The fire, the source of ev'ry line transfuse
To your own breast, and be what you peruse!
No more I'd vainly think, or falsly call,
The giver tasteless, or the present small;
But modesty itself should own, "I send
This, the best token of the truest friend."