1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Anonymous, "To Dr. G—. On seeing his Name in the List of Mummers at a late Masquerade" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (9 June 1772).



"Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
That good, which makes each humbler bosom vain?
Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
These little things are great to little man."
GOLDSMITH.

How widely different, G—, are the ways
Of Doctors now to those of ancient days!
Theirs taught the truth in academic shades;
Ours hunt lewd hops and midnight masquerades!
So changed are times! Say, philosophic Sage,
Whose genius suits so well this tasteful age,
Is the Pantheon, late a sink obscene,
Become a fountain of chaste Hippocrene?
Or do thy moral numbers quaintly flow,
Inspir'd by th' Aganippe of Soho?
Do Wisdom's sons gorge cates and vermicelli,
Like beastly B— or bothering K—?
Or art thou sated with the vain applause
Bestow'd on Bards affecting Virtue's cause?
Would'st thou, like Sterne, resolv'd at length to thrive,
Turn pimp and die cock-bawd at sixty-five?
Is this the good, that makes the humble vain,
The good, philosophy should not disdain?
If so, let pride dissemble all it can,
A modern Sage, indeed's a little man!