1722 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ambrose Philips

Ponticola, "To the Author of the Verses in Mist's Journal, of Jan. 17, inscrib'd to Mr. Philips" London Journal (10 February 1722).



When Fools to touch the warbling Strings aspire,
They shew their want of Taste, of Sense, of Fire,
The earthly Genius in the Thought prevails,
And Motion in dull Numbers meanly rails.

In tuneful Strains, whoever hopes to please,
Drives smiling on, elate in graceful Ease;
Satyr to Cure is only taught to pierce,
And Truth in lovely Smiles adorns the Verse;
Far from the Muse inspir'd, pale Envy flies,
And ev'ry gross malignant Passion dies.

How will thy Malice lash thy little Pride,
When ceaseless Claps in Philips' Praise decide;
When crouded Theatres attentive wait,
And with the Muse are sadden'd or elate;
Fir'd when the well drawn Hero's Worth appears,
And soften'd with his Wrongs to lovely Tears.

Would'st Thou, ill Bard, succeed another Time,
Hurt not with spight the Musick of a Rhime;
For if such measur'd Malice you indite,
Only thy Mist will print the wicked Lines you write.