1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Myles Cooper

Anonymous, "To M. Cooper, M.A. on hearing that he is preparing a Collection of his poetical Pieces for the Press" Royal Magazine 4 (June 1761) 297.



If manly sense, in lines which flow with ease,
Hath any power the sober taste to please;
If Fancy's choicest scenes display'd with art,
Can touch with rapture every gayer heart;
If brilliant wit with delicacy join'd,
Can fill with daring joy the kindred mind;
Then sure, my COOPER, thou'rt secure of praise,
Since fancy, wit, and sense shine in thy lays.

As Brunswick's mourner, when thy muse appears,
Each British eye o'erflows with patriot tears:
In such a moving, unaffected strain,
She sings the virtues of the former reign,
That tho' young GEORGE sublimer heights may soar,
We mourn the Monarch whom we lov'd before.—
And shall, unsung, the brave BOSCAWEN die,
Tho' all the muse, who mark'd him from afar
Great as a God, triumphant in the war,—
May that same muse lament the hero dead,
Do justice to his worth, appease his honour'd shade.—

Hail, heaven-born Fancy! — thy creative power
With humble admiration I adore,
Whate'er is great in nature or in art,
You to your favourite sons with care impart;—
Monastic ruins, caves, rocks and wood-grown hills,
Towers, palaces, expanded lakes, and tinckling rills;
You bid the objects singly arise,
Or represent them in united guise:
These by the aid of some indulgent muse,
Through their expressive lines the bards diffuse,
O happy those with whom you deign to dwell!
Thrice happy COOPER, whom you love so well!—

Then, when thy muse would lighter arts essay,
Pleas'd we pursue where'er she leads the way;
In epigram we see her pointed charms,
Which strike th' unguarded mind with gay alarms:
As when, in musing mood, we fix our eyes
On the ting'd clouds, which shroud the boundless skies,
The flash etherial comes, and darts a quick surprise.
And if in beauty's praise she lifts her voice,
In beauty's praise our beating hearts rejoice;
We thank the muse, who sweetly doth display
Those charms, which time and absence snatch away.
Hail, generous youth, Apollo's favourite son!
With pride thy Oxford marks thee as her own;
But chief that dome which claim'd Philippa's care;
Thy merit reaps peculiar honors there.—
In each swift year returns that gladsome day,
On which her sons their ornaments display
The wise and good: 'mongst these my friend shall shine,
A British worthy of Philippa's line.—