1731 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "Mr. Pope's Epitaph, occasion'd by his Poem of Taste in Building" The Hyp-Doctor (21 December 1731).



Here lies the Body of a Building Cook,
Who tasted Stone-walls, Quincunxes, and Cascades,
His Poem dy'd before him,
And his Bookseller has tasted nothing since:
Here he lies, alack! in a patch'd Dog hole,
Ek'd with Ends of Wall,
Without one Slice of Pilaster clapt on't,
Nor lac'd with a bit of Rustic:
He shew'd his FINE TASTE in COURSE Language,
Such as Fool, Coxcomb, Whore, and Devil, in half a Page,
And Triton's Spewing to wash your Face;
His TASTE of Wisdom in calling himself
A Puny Insect shivering at a Breeze,
His TASTE of Judgment in making Verses upon Building,
When nothing was ever so sorrily Built as himself;
His TASTE of History, in calling a Meal a Sacrifice,
When at Sacrifices Dogs were whipt out, and he stay'd,
His TASTE of Honour in dining with Lords to Lampoon them,
As he expos'd his Friend, Mr. Addison, in Satire;
His TASTE of Court-breeding in styling KINGS Imitating Fools;
His TASTE of Popery by wishing for Temples worthier of the God;
His TASTE of profane Contradiction in laughing at his Religion,
Calling it the Pride of Prayer, Quirks of Music,
And Sprawling Saints, like himself;
His TASTE of Faction by Styling the PEACE imperfect
Till his aukward Masonry overspread the Land;
In this Poem he has confess'd the Sins of his Brain,
And prov'd an Elegant TASTE of French Airs and the English Tongue
By his Souls dancing UPON a Jigg to Heaven.
Exit Alexander TASTE.

N.B. The Poem and Poet are both register'd in the History of INSIPIDS.