chapter  2
15 Pages


Gay's first poem Wine appeared in 1708 and Rural Sports in 1712. Gay carefully revised his poems for later editions and collections. Unfortunately Gay was not able to cope with the political realities of the time. Dryden in the Dedication to his translation of 1697 referred to Georgics as 'the best poem of the best poet' and declared that Virgil wrote it in the 'full strength and vigour of his age'. Gay's Trivia, which is modelled on Virgil's poem, may be considered an urban georgic in which city sights and city life, with all their hazards and vitality, are described. Trivia is written in the ten-syllabled rhymed couplet, the favourite verse form of the age. In her form as Trivia she was to be found at night, in association with demons, at street junctions. By far the safest and cleanest part of the road was that nearest to the walls of buildings.