1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Perfect

William Hawkins, "My Answer" Hawkins, Shrubs of Parnassus (1776) 74.



[Verses received from a genius in the country, (with whom I had some private pique) on perusing my works in manuscript.

My sweet BILLY HAWKIN,
What argufies talking,
The grammar you put in a fright;
You own dear conceit
To you may be sweet,
To me 'tis an antidote quite.]

MY ANSWER.
My sweet pretty doctor of Malling' fair town,
Thou art surely stark mad or a simpleton grown;
For no man in his senses could ever have writ
Such bombastical nonsense, had he the least wit;
But thy poetry, I doubt, has cracked thy brain,
And made thee, alas! like thy patients, insane;
Or MIDAS'S fate has again come to pass,
And thou, my dear doctor, art turn'd to an ass.
————
Pray send me no more such illiterate stuff,
For I think you have made yourself foolish enough.

* The person here alluded to, living at Town Malling, in Kent, and by profession a surgeon, in which art he is very eminent for curing insanity, and not a bad writer in the poetical way.