1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Wilson Croker

Anonymous, "The Pert Little Poet" New Bon Ton Magazine 4 (April 1820) 352-53.



This pert little Poet, like TRIANGLE, came
"From the land of misrule, and half gagging, and flame,"
Made his bow to the Great — got a something to do,
In a Newspaper p'rhaps, or a loyal Review,
And work'd his way up to the house now in view;
Here he struts like a lord, — is the cock of the walk,
And looks to the cash with the eye of a hawk;
Lends his hand to a duke, should he get in a mess,
And bullies a bunter to aid his finesse,
Prints his speech, which in print looks excessively fine,
Tho' the little man blunder'd thro' every line,
Made colons where now only commas appear,
And got by the brogue seven thousand a year.
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This gentleman was born in Ireland, and descends from a family, whose adherence to the brogue gives us reason to suspect that he is the first of his race that ever emigrated to this country. He is a poet, and of the first water too, as our readers must have long since discovered, by his beautiful versification of the London Extraordinary Gazette. The talents of this little gentleman are of the most versatile character; he is competent to any office, and can perform all the inferior duties of the state, with as much address, regularity, and propriety, as those of the highest denomination. His manners, however, are not occasionally so pliant as could be wished; but this defect is rather to be attributed to his sudden elevation to power and emolument, than to his natural bias and disposition. He is particularly intimate with all the great literary luminaries of the age, and may be denominated the Homer of the present day. As a critic he stands conspicuous among Messrs. Gifford, Hallam, Knight, & Co. and we have not the least doubt that in a very short period, he will be competent to the production of a "Political Man in the Moon;" he has been praised in all the Reviews, and The Courier now and then informs us (with its usual charity) that he is still at the Isle of Wight, devoting himself to those literary labours, which, of course, require no ameliorating touch from the accommodating pen of its able Editor, Mr. Wm. M—d.