ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Anonymous, "Of the Inconveniency, and in Contempt of Rhime" Monthly Miscellany, or Memoirs for the Curious 1 (1707) 153.
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
Say Muse, for only injur'd you can tell;
Injur'd because thy Flights are barr'd by Rhime;
Those dire Obstructions, Clogs of Eloquence,
And tuneful Reasons, sweeter Harmony,
That sounds through all succeeding Languages,
Whose mortal Change Corruptions must sustain;
That, like the beauteous tops of Monuments,
Sink further down at every nod of Time,
At length dissolve to dark Oblivion,
And drown their Patron' Mem'ry by degrees.
But Reason born of Mind's Stability;
And fair Conception never can decay;
Nor like the sound of Rhime or Phrase impair,
And languish till they both decripit are.
Say then (since Rhimes so wickedly intrude,
And vitiate every Virtue of the Mind;
Deluding are to all, and like a Plague
Continue and contaminate thy Verse)
How thou regardless ar't of them, and why
Thou damn'st their spurious Rise and Progeny,
Whose Memory only entertains as Friends;
Because, like Bees us'd to that certain Hive,
Cannot be made to quit their known Abode.
How can their Sound be grateful with a Sting,
Or Hony sweet, since from the leaves of Sence,
Which more sagacious Reason loath'd and left,
And bore the nobler Part of Phrase away?
'Tis true, when Creech and Dryden strove t' out please
The Nation's rav'nous Ear as well as Mind,
They then with solid Rhime did point each Line,
Like Arrows with their Adamantine Heads,
And shot them home by strength of Reason's Bow;
Not only pierc'd our Ears, but Mind at which they aim'd.
See Chaucer's Rhimes, like Autumn Fruits are fall'n,
Transmitted, vanish'd, and consum'd away,
And had not Fancy joyn'd her Friendly Charms,
The very Trees on which they grew had droop'd;
But still the sappy Sence remains in force;
For Fancy's pregnant Soil sends fresh Supplies,
Which from beneath the mossy Park of Phrase
We still receive, and still admiring tast.
The curst Devise of Pagan Priests to stem
The Rise of Reason and the Spring of Sence,
Was gingling Rhime, to enchant th' listening Herd,
And fill their Memories with it's empty sound,
Which bore their doubtful Sentences to mind;
So sunk whole Ages down in Ignorance,
And lull'd even all Inquiries asleep.
Still that Deceit effectual more might prove,
To sight they shap'd their Verses into form
Of Moons, of Organ-pipes, of Darts, &c.
Each Serpentine, and both ends Rhim'd alike
To stun with sound the curious Intellect.
And still the nauseous gingling Sounds crept in,
And dull the keenest Appetites to Wit;
By rendering the Sence ungrateful to the Tast,
And laying the Mind and noble Reason wast.
—Spight then of all the Heathenish brood of Rhimes,
To which I no more adhere, but shake my Pen,
And leave those Idol Crambo's and be gone
To seek new Fancies—
Nor shall a Rhime invade my guarded Lines,
But when, by chance in Sense, they breed like Twins.
Milton's high Sence, and swift Ideas flew,
Sought mighty Flights and Acquisitions new,
He reconcil'd to Humane Sence and Thought,
Lucif'ran Wars, and vast Amusements wrote
Concerning Man's great loss of Paradice,
And shew'd Caelestial Facts to mortal Eyes;
Unclogg'd with Rhime and vain invented Tone,
He soar'd to Heaven and brought its Records down;
His single Phaenix Muse by Time was tir'd,
Flew high and scorch'd her Wings and so expir'd,
Till whose last Ashes shall her Kind produce,
Will ne'er be found so singular a Muse.