1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Charles Churchill

Verax, "A Counter-Attempt" London Chronicle (4 December 1764) 535.



What, Churchill dead! — and silent ev'ry bard,
No Muse invok'd — to scandal no regard!
Tune not, O Lloyd, nor Woty, your chaste lays,
Nor emulating strive to chaunt its praise;
Nor here let friendship's ties your bosoms warm,
Whose fancy pleases, and whose numbers charm.
Who shall the galling pen with malice wield,
With equal rancour fraught, who take the field?
Churchill, by powerful love of interest fir'd,
To scourge men better than himself inspir'd.
Falsehood, injustice dwelt upon his tongue,
To lash the guiltless in his partial song.
For to just power, to party rage a fool,
To Wilkes unoffic'd, a mean cringing tool.
Rouse not, ye bards, his memory to revere,
But to his errors pay a silent tear.
Unequal to the task, leave, leave the quill
To some more perfect in abusive skill.