Posts tagged ‘1740’

Friday, 30 September 2016

To Mrs. Bindon at Bath by Charles Hanbury Williams

Apollo of old on Britannia did smile,
And Delphi forsook for the sake of this isle,
Around him he lavishly scatter’d his lays,
And in every wilderness planted his bays;
Then Chaucer and Spenser harmonious were heard,
Then Shakespear, and Milton, and Waller appear’d,
And Dryden, whose brows by Apollo were crown’d,
As he sung in such strains as the God might have own’d:
But now, since the laurel is given of late
To Cibber, to Eusden, to Shadwell and Tate,
Apollo hath quitted the isle he once lov’d,
And his harp and his bays to Hibernia remov’d;
He vows and he swears he’ll inspire us no more,
And has put out Pope’s fires which he kindled before;
And further he says, men no longer shall boast
A science their slight and ill treatment hath lost;
But that women alone for the future shall write;
And who can resist, when they doubly delight?
And lest we shou’d doubt what he said to be true,
Has begun by inspiring Sapphira and You.


Date: c1740

By: Charles Hanbury Williams (1708-1759)

Saturday, 6 February 2016

To the Fair Injur’d Celia by Sarah Dixon

Beauty! thou soft Intruder to the Heart,
Where is thy Triumph? Tell us what thou art.
Like Light and Truth, thine Energy we feel,
Hard to describe, but harder to conceal:
A Gift celestial! and of mighty Sway,
Whose transient Power we willingly obey:
Auxiliary Aid! which by ill Conduct lost
Betrays the Fair, and leaves Mankind to boast.
Rich in thy self, but oft’ without Defence,
What Guard has Celia found from Innocence?
With glitt’ring Fortune, and obsequious Lyes,
How many Charms one Fop can sacrifice!

Ah! Celia, thou not singly art undone,
The vile Contagion through the Sex has run;
We gaze, admire, then all our Arts employ,
With the same Pleasure ruin and injoy.
A generous Foe, this Secret I confess,
Honour is shock’d at Celia’s great Distress.

From: Dixon, Sarah, Poems on Several Occasions, 1740, J. Arbree: Canterbury, p. 45.

Date: 1740

By: Sarah Dixon (1671/2-1765)

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

In Praise of Chaucer, Father of English Poetry by Moses Browne

Long veil’d in Gothick mists our Britain lay,
E’er dawning science beam’d a cheering ray,
Dark monkish systems and dull senseless rhymes
Swell’d the vain volumes of those ruder times:
When Chaucer rose, the Phoebus of our isle,
And bid bright art on downward ages smile;
His genius pierc’d the gloom of error through,
And truth with nature rose at once to view.

In regal courts by princely favours grac’d
His easy muse acquir’d her skilful taste:
A universal genius she displays
In his mixt subject tun’d to various lays.
If in heroic strain he tries his art,
All Homer’s fire and strength the strains impart.
Is love his theme? how soft the lays, how warm!
With Ovid’s sweetness all his numbers charm!
His thoughts so delicate, so bright his flame,
Not just praise we owe the Roman name.
What pious strains the heavenly piece adorn,
Where guilty Magdalen is taught to mourn;
Devotion’s charms their strongest powers combine,
And with the poet equals the divine.
When he some scene of tragic woe recites,
Our pity feels the strong distress he writes;
Like Sophocles majestic he appears,
And claims alike our wonder and our tears.
Does he to comic wit direct his aim?
His humour crowns th’ attempt with equal fame.
Meer fictions for realities we take,
So just a picture his descriptions make;
So true with life his characters agree,
Whate’er is read we almost think we see.

Such Chaucer was, bright mirror of his age!
Tho’ length of years has quite obscur’d his page;
His stile grown obsolete, his numbers rude,
Scarce read, and but with labor understood.
Yet by fam’d modern bards new minted o’er,
His standard wit has oft enrich’d their store;
Whose Canterbury Tales could task impart
For Pope’s and Dryden’s choice-refining art;
And in their graceful polish let us view
What wealth enrich’d the mind where first they grew.


Date: 1740

By: Moses Browne (1704-1787)

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Prize Riddle on Herself When 24 by Elizabeth Frances Amherst Thomas

I’m a strange composition as e’er was in nature,
Being wondrously studious and yet a great prater.
Retirement and quite I love beyond measure,
Yet always am ready for parties of pleasure.
I can cry till I laugh, or laugh till I cry,
Yet few have a temper more equal than I.
My shape is but clumsy, I see it and know it,
Yet always am dancing and skipping to show it.
My visage is round, just the shape of a bowl,
With a great pair of grey eyes resembling an owl.
My nose and my mouth are none of the least,
Though one serves me to smell and the other to taste.
What I gain in these features makes up for no chin,
But here’s my misfortune, my smile’s a broad grin.
My temper is rather addicted to satire,
And yet, without vanity, fraught with good nature.
My friends I can laugh at, but most at myself.
I’ve no inclination for titles or pelf;
And this I can vouch for, believe me or nay,
To my friend’s my own interest does always give sway.
I really am cleanly, but yet my discourse,
If you’re squeamish, may make you as sick as a horse.
Without any voice, I can sing you a song,
And though I grow old, I shall always be young.
I put on assurance, though nat’rally shy,
And most people love me, though none can tell why.
I’m not yet disposed of: come bid for a blessing,
For those who first guess me shall have me for guessing.

From: Lonsdale, Roger (ed.), Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An Anthology, 1990, Oxford University Press: Oxford, p. 180.

Date: 1740

By: Elizabeth Frances Amherst Thomas (c1716-1779)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Ode XIV. The Complaint by Mark Akenside

Away! Away!
Tempt me no more, insidious love:
Thy soothing sway
Long did my youthful bosom prove:
At length thy treason is discern’d,
At length some dear-bought caution earn’d:
Away! nor hope my riper age to move.

I know, I see
Her merit . Needs it now be shewn,
Alas, to me?
How often, to myself unknown,
The graceful, gentle, virtuous maid
Have I admir’d!  How often said,
What joy to call a heart like her’s one’s own!

But, flattering god,
O squanderer of content and ease,
In thy abode
Will care’s rude lesson learn to please?
O say, deceiver, hast thou won,
Proud fortune to attend thy throne,
Or plac’d thy friends above her stern decrees?

From: Akenside, Mark, The Poems of Mark Akenside, 1772, W Bowyer and J Nicholl: London, pp. 339-340.


Date: 1740

By: Mark Akenside (1721-1770)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Rule Britannia by James Thomson

When Britain first, at heaven’s command,
    Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
    And guardian angels sung this strain—
       “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
       Britons never will be slaves.”

The nations, not so blest as thee,
    Must in their turns to tyrants fall;
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
    The dread and envy of them all.
       “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
       Britons never will be slaves.”

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
    More dreadful from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies
    Serves but to root thy native oak.
       “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
       Britons never will be slaves.”

Thee haughty tyrants ne’er shall tame;
    All their attempts to bend thee down,
Will but arouse thy generous flame,
    But work their woe and thy renown.
       “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
       Britons never will be slaves.”

To thee belongs the rural reign;
    Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main,
    And every shore it circles thine.
       “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
       Britons never will be slaves.”

The Muses, still with freedom found,
    Shall to thy happy coast repair:
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
    And manly hearts to guard the fair.
       “Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
       Britons never will be slaves.”


Date: 1740

By: James Thomson (1700-1748)