1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

Anonymous, "A New-Year's Gift to a certain Court Chaplain" Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (2 January 1772).



Meek, humble, modest, parson D—D!
Believe me, it is mighty odd,
That you such hopes should dish up;
For after all, my good friend WILL!
Whate'er you think, you will be still
A Priest, but not a Bishop.

The parties that you tried to fix
Of Ladies (monstrous thus to mix!)
To grace the Chaplain's table;
Carnal and Spirit'al thus to join,
Flounc'd petticoats with gowns divine,
O fye! e'en that's not able.

For tho' the hold of apron-strings,
And all such mighty pretty things,
Do raise men who are humble;
Yet when, poor creatures! they kick up,
And their orig'nal dust lick up,
Lord! how they groan and grumble!

Another string you've try'd to touch,
Which if it serves your purpose much,
The world might justly wonder.
Thus did Salmoneus rattle o'er
The brazen bridge, to make it roar
Like Jove's imperial thunder.

Of French translations we've enough,
And all such meagre flimsy stuff,
Both sacred and profane;
But what will suit proud Louy's Court,
Should not to George's here resort,
As all such preaching's vain!

Marsillon's pen flows much too fine,
In polish'd periods every line,
To stand the British test;
The heart of George will never bow
To French discourses, since we know
We have by far the best.

Thus while you warn a Prince's ear
Of specious flattery to beware,
You gild the Gallic pill,
In such a manner as to suit
Your artful views with George, or Bute;
And so farewell, dear WILL!—

And am, with best wishes, to see you EXALTED as HIGH as your well-known humility and modesty deserve, your sincere friend and brother,
ONE, who though less than the least of all CURATES, yet too honest to flatter, and too happy to be made a BISHOP.
St. Paul's Church-yard, Jan. 1, 1772.