1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Anstey

Richard Graves, "To Christopher Anstey, Esq; the supposed Author of Envy, a Poem" Euphrosyne: or, Amusements on the Road of Life (1780) 2:80-81.



As oft, in play or in a fright,
Boys thrust their faces out of sight;
Conceal their heads behind a screen,
And fancy nothing else is seen;
Tho' they their legs and rump expose,
And thus their lurking-place disclose:
So A—sty, wrapt in classic veil,
His comic genius would conceal:
But strokes of humour force their way,
And soon the New Bath-Guide betray.
The stifled laugh, and sly grimace,
Appear beneath the serious face.
Nay, tho' he draws so droll a list
Of merry Bards as ever p—st;
And hardly lets himself appear,
But just squeez'd in amongst the rear;
What thus his modesty conceals,
That modesty itself reveals.