When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a Pope's pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;110
A polished nation's praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people's, as the poet's fame.
Like him great Dryden poured the tide of song,
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Then Congreve's scenes could cheer, or Otway's melt;
For Nature then an English audience felt—
But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,
When taste and reason with those times are past.120
Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
- [Lines 115, 116, were a MS. addition to the printed text of British Bards. An alternative version has been pencilled on the margin:—
"Otway and Congreve mimic scenes had wove
And Waller tuned his Lyre to mighty Love."]
Herbert, Scott, Hallam, Pillans, Lambe, Sydney Smith, Brougham, etc.—Lord Holland applauded for dinners and translations.—The Drama; Skeffington, Hook, Reynolds, Kenney, Cherry, etc.—Sheridan, Colman, and Cumberland called upon [requested, MS.] to write.—Return to poesy—scribblers of all sorts—lords sometimes rhyme; much better not—Hafiz, Rosa Matilda, and X. Y. Z.—Rogers, Campbell,Gifford, etc. true poets—Translators of the Greek Anthology—Crabbe—Darwin's style—Cambridge—Seatonian Prize—Smythe—Hodgson—Oxford—Richards—Poeta loquitur—Conclusion."]