1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

David Garrick, "Jupiter and Mercury" 1774; Works of Oliver Goldsmith, ed. Peter Cunningham (1854) 1:86.



"Here Hermes, says Jove, who with nectar was mellow,
Go fetch me some clay, — I will make an odd fellow!
Right and wrong shall be jumbled, — much gold and some dross;
Without cause be he pleas'd, without cause be he cross:
Be sure, as I work, to throw in contradictions,
A great love of truth, yet a mind turn'd to fictions;
Now mix these ingredients, which warm'd in the baking,
Turn'd to learning, and gaming, religion, and raking.
With the love of a wench, let his writings be chaste;
Tip his tongue with strange matter, his pen with fine taste;
That the rake and the poet o'er all may prevail,
Set fire to the head, and set fire to the tail,
For the joy of each sex on the word I'll bestow it,
This scholar, rake, Christian, dupe, gamester, and poet;
Though a mixture so odd, he shall merit great fame,
And among brother mortals — be Goldsmith his name;
When on earth this strange meteor no more shall appear,
You, Hermes, shall fetch him — to make us sport here."