1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Thomas Fitzgerald

Vindex, "On Duplex" The Sun (26 March 1806).



DUPLEX, half Courtier and half Cit,
A Scribbler and a would-be Wit,
With titled folks all fawning art,
A gloomy Jacobin at heart,
Envies FITZGERALD'S honest MUSE,
And fain her efforts would abuse:
Hence though her strain is strong and terse
His spleen has stil'd it Tavern verse.
Abject detraction! — and what then?—
FITZGERALD'S verse is fit for MEN,
Who his poetic force admire,
His loyal and his patriot fire.
Nor does he, coldly cautious, stay
To chill the theme with dull delay,
But boldly strikes at once the lyre,
As Genius, Virtue, Truth, inspire.
But DUPLEX must with labour pine
Through a whole month to spin a line;
Another month at least must go
To make a couplet smoothly flow,
And ere a Poem can appear
He must retouch it many a year;
At last the mawkish softness cloys,
And 'tis but fit for Girls and Boys.