1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah More

William Tasker, "Stanzas, addressed to the Author of the Lines affecting to ridicule the Poetical Productions of Miss Hannah More" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (13 February 1778).



Why wilt thou draw thy grey-goose quill,
Or why exert thy wicked skill,
Against a gentle woman?
Why thus mis-spend thy precious time,
Or why employ satiric rhime,
To prove that thou art no man?

Pray art thou not some witling? — say,
And had thou never wrote a play,
And therein not succeeded?—
If so, the secret is found out,
The real truth's at last come out,
Thy envy is not heeded.

Hannah shall write in stile sublime!
With thy low doggerel and rhyme,
Pretendest thou to teach her?
Swell as thou wilt, thou pigmy elf,
If thou e'en swell and burst thyself,
Thy malice shall not reach her.

Dragon enrag'd shall tear thy throat,
If thou but yelp another note,
Thou sad dog of the town:
Good folks shall fly thy venom'd bite,
And all pursue thee with their might,
And run the mad dog down.

Daughter of Jove, the Muses nine,
(While they attend at Merit's shrine)
Shall all offended be:
The Graces and the smiling loves,
And Venus, drawn by milk-white doves,
Shall frown, displeased, on thee.

Or Phoebus' self, enrag'd descend,
His favour'd poetess defend,
And shoot his golden arrow;
His shafts shall wound thy galled side,
(To mortify thy daring pride)
And pierce thee to the marrow.
IMPARTIALIST.
Feb. 4, 1778.