1 Lest you should think that verse shall die,
Which sounds the silver Thames along,
Taught, on the wings of truth to fly
Above the reach of vulgar song;

2 Though daring Milton sits sublime,
In Spenser, native Muses play;
Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,
Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay.

3 Sages and chiefs long since had birth
Ere Caesar was, or Newton named;
These raised new empires o'er the earth,
And those, new heavens and systems framed.

4 Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died.
In vain they schemed, in vain they bled!
They had no poet, and are dead.