1765 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Duncombe

Anonymous, "The Magazine-Critic" St. James's Chronicle (1 August 1765).



To thee, who, plac'd on Learning's lowest Throne,
Explor'st those Realms where Folly calls her own;
From Warton's Powers no longer borrowing Fame,
Though fond to grasp the Shadow of a Name;
To thee how righteous has that Sentence been,
Which doom'd thee Critic to a Magazine!

Johnson's weak Mimic! and, at Nature's Cost,
His Pomp affecting, while his Strength is lost;
How dead to Sense thy empty Periods swell,
And idly found their imitative Bell!
While he, on mighty Stilts, out-strips the Wind,
How dost thou, hobbling, waddle far behind!

So, when the Matron of a Low-Dutch Boor,
Instructs her Brats to cross the wat'ry Moor,
High on her Props of Wood the straddling Dame
Lifts her squat Legs, and bids them try the same;
Eager the Brats pursue, though many a Sqall
Speaks the wet Back-side from the wat'ry Fall.

To thee how righteous has that Sentence been,
Which doom'd thee Critic to a Magazine!
Long mayst thou, with affecting Foppery, fill
Each carping Page, and peck with feeble Bill;
Since Fate most righteous to thy Worth has been,
And doom'd thee Critic to a Magazine!