1730 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "To Mr. Pope, on his Dunciad" The Daily Journal (16 May 1730).



Of all thy short-liv'd Progeny, this last
Has met with harder Trials, than the past.
With rueful Eyes thou view'st thy wretched Race;
The Child of Guilt, and destin'd to Disgrace!

Thus when fam'd Joan usurp'd the Pontiff Chair,
With Terror she beheld her new-born Heir:
Ill-starr'd, ill-favour'd into Birth it came;
In Sin begotten, and brought forth with Shame!
In vain it breathes, a lewd abandon'd Hope!
And calls in vain th' unhallow'd Father, Pope.

[The Grub-Street Journal responded 28 May: "We should be glad to hear the names of Mr. POPE'S "short liv'd Progeny," all those children whom he owns being, to our sorrow, alive and in good health: we likewise desire to know what the Epigrammatist means by a "lewd adandon'd hope."]