1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Oldham

William Gifford, in The Baviad (1791) 45.



I go. Yet Hall could lash with noble rage,
The purblind patron of a former age,
And laugh to scorn th' eternal sonnetteer,
That made goose-pinions and white rags so dear.
Yet Oldham, in his rude, unpolish'd strain,
Could hiss the clamorous, and deride the vain,
That bawl'd their rhymes incessant thro' the town,
Or bribed the hawkers for a day's renown.
Whate'er the theme, with honest warmth they wrote,
Nor cared what Mutius of their freedom thought:
Yet prose was venial in that happy time,
And life had other business than to rhyme.