1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

Anonymous, "Brother Paul to Peter Pindar" St. James's Chronicle (10 May 1788).



I've often heard my ancient Grandam say,
And thou hast heard the same, I make no Doubt,
That every yelping Cur will have his Day.
Thy Day, good Peter, now it seems, is out.

Art thou at last reduced — the Trick is stale—
To advertise, for Piracy, Reward?
Thus of thy Works to stimulate the Sale?
Thy Fate, poor Peter, sure is wond'rous hard!

There are for Poets various Ways to Fame,
From Flatt'ry some the gilded Laurels crop;
Satyr was thine, and Kings thy favourite Game,
But Cerberus, it seems, hath ta'en a Sop.

Where is thy Louse? — What leave him in the Lurch?
Scullions and Turnpits Darlings of the Muse?
But so thou whilom didst forsake the Church,
For Leisure Kings and Painters to abuse.

But art thou, Peter, proud that thou hast got
A Pension from the Court to make thee civil?
If thou hast any Spirit, not a Jot—
The fearful Indians pension thus the Devil.

Thou art not pension'd for thy Wit or Sense,
But Kings and Painters wish to live in Peace;
'Tis only meant to curb thy Impudence,
And that thy Billingsgate Abuse may cease.

Thomas — but I have never seen him mellow—
Thomas, the hackney'd Object of thy Fun,
They tell me, is an honest jovial Fellow:
What, to offend thee, hath good Thomas done?

I'll tell thee, Peter, Spite of all Pretense,
Thou persecut'st thy Brother Tom, good lack!
Not for his Want of Wit or Want of Sense,
But for thou envy'st him his Butt of Sack.

I think I know thee, Peter — Thou'rt a Thing,
That for a Guinea could be wondrous civil;
Would praise alike a Cobler or a King,
Or damn, for Gold, a God, or bless a Devil.

If thou art poor, there may be some Excuse.
Here — take these Pence to help thee on thy Way;
But let us have no more of thy Abuse:
Poor little Doggy thou hast had thy Day.