1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gifford

Anonymous, "The Modern Poets" Morning Chronicle (17 January 1792).



The puffing conspiracy which for so long a time has outraged all true taste, has at length brought on its devoted head the proper vengeance of indignant genius. Since the days of CHURCHILL, no Satirist has appeared equally nervous and biting as the Author of the Baviad, who in a paraphrastic imitation of of the first Satire of Persius, has lashed the whole tribe of Della Cruscas, Lauras, Anna-Matildas, and Arnos, in verse that they will feel, and that the Public will enjoy.

Poet. Yet when I view the follies that engage,
The full-grown children of this piping age;
See snivelling Jerningham at fifty weep
O'er love-lorn Oxen and deserted sheep;
See Thrale's grey widow with a satchel roam,
And bring in pomp her labour'd nothings home;
I scarce can rule my spleen.

Friend. Forbear, forbear:
And what the great delight in, learn to spare.

Poet. It must not, cannot be; for I was born
To brand obtrusive ignorance with scorn;
On bloated pedantry to pour my rage,
And hiss preposterous fustian from the stage.