1729 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Thomas Cooke, in "The Battle of the Poets" Tales, Epistles, Odes, Fables (1729) 117-19.



With him a Chieftain came in Arms ally'd,
In Wit superior, and of equal Pride,
St. Patrick's Dean, of holy Men the Pest,
A scurril Joker, and of all the Jest.
This Leader, sable-rob'd, his Conscience sold
Long since; or Whig or Tory he for Gold.
Worth in all Shapes he views with envious Eyes,
A Vanbrugh witty, and Godolphin wise:
Nor could the foremost of the Sons of Men
Escape his ribbald and licentious Pen,
He who protected, in the doubtful Hour,
The Land of Freedom from tyrannic Powr:
Hail ever honour'd Shade, whose sacred Name
Shall live, till Worlds decay, the Boast of Fame!
As Right requires, this, Marlb'ro', is thy Lot;
The Foes to Virtue dy, and are forgot,
Or Death survive, detested by their Race,
Wretches immortal in their own Disgrace!
This Doom be his, who now his Mind employs
In feigning idle Tales for Girls and Boys,
Or gives his Genius the malignant Scope
At better Men to throw his Dirt with Pope.
See to the Field Swift self-sufficient run,
To share the Wreath with his poetic Son;
With him Invectives gross for Humour pass:
He wears no Armour but a Face of Brass.