1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Verses addressed to Mr. Hawkins.

Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (15 August 1778).

Maria


Two double-quartrain stanzas, signed "Maria, Grovesnor Square." The poet places William Hawkins, "author of Vauxhall and Ranelagh Songs, Pastoral Poems, &c." in the tradition of William Shenstone and John Cunningham, whom he indeed imitates shamelessly. Hawkins had adapted the pastoral ballad mode to short lyric songs.



Ye Poets why will ye bemoan
For brothers, alas! who are dead;
Though Shenston, and Cunningham's gone,
Young Hawkins now rears up his head.
A branch he appears from their stem,
And promises blossoms to bear;
Who knows but he'll flourish like them?
Then cease to repine and despair.

His songs they are artless and sweet,
His subjects most innocent are,
Though in all he may not be compleat,
Yet merit he surely must share.
Write on then, thou juvenile bard,
Pursue your lov'd pastoral strain,
For merit I strongly regard,
If my praises are simple and plain.

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