1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

William Cowper, in The Task (1785) 64-65.



But loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse,
Frequent in park, with lady at his side,
Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes,
But rare at home, and never at his books
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyships, a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepared by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love o' th' world
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride.—
From such apostles, Oh ye mitred heads
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On sculls that cannot teach, and will not learn.