1751 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "Sonnet on Mr. Pope's Legacy to Mr. Warburton" Newcastle General Magazine 4 (August 1751) 424.



In evil Hour did Pope's declining Age,
Deceiv'd and dazzled by the Tinsel show
Of wordy Science, and the nauseous Flow
Of mean officious Flatteries, engage
Thy venal Quill to deck his labour'd Page
With ribbald Nonsense, and permit to strow
Amidst his Flow'rs the baleful Weeds, that grow
In th' unbless'd Soil of rude and rancrous Rage.
Yet this th' avenging Muse ordained so,
When by his Counsel, or weak Sufferance,
To thee were trusted Shakespear's Fame and Fate;
She doom'd him down the Stream of Time to tow
Thy foul dirt-loaded Hulk, or sink perchance
Dragg'd to Oblivion by the found'ring Weight.