Hannah More

Anonymous, "An Apology to Miss H—h M—e, from the Author of the Ode by Dragon, the House-Dog at Hampton" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (21 May 1777).

Do what you will with my erroneous lays,
Impose on them, O M—e! what fate you please,
And let them perish by the flames or seas.

Wretch that I was! A female breast to sting,
To pluck, without remorse, her muse's wing,
And blast her panegyric in it's spring!

Fondly I thought I saw some flatterer's vein,
The rhimes of Bavius, or that Captain's stain,
Who Grammar with Semiramis hath slain.

Oh! had I known 'gainst whom I aim'd the stroke,
The dart of Satire I myself had broke.
A woman never could my gall provoke.

Flattery should then have been but just applause,
Blunders, quick Fancy, which disdains the laws
Of common sense, and laughs at trivial flaws.

Yes, I repent — nor longer probe the sore—
Think then I aim'd the ridicule before
At Roscius, Maevius, Bavius, — not at M—e.