1649 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Wither

Samuel Sheppard?, in Mercurius Elencticus No. 19; British Bibliographer 2 (1812) 381-82.



At Westminster (Sept. 3, 1649) they are very lazie, and have done very little more of publique concernment: but as it appeares, George Withers has beene very much busied in composing a Hymne of Praises for their great deliverance and victory against Ormonde; which hee presented most of the members with on Tuesday last, (in hopes they would have sung it the day after, being the thanksgiving day appointed) where in hee has flattered the Saints very artificially, in hopes "to get his arreares." But whether it take or not, I'm sure hee has shew'd himselfe a compleat hypocrite, a dissembling knave; as any man that reads his Campo-Musae and compares it with this Oblation, may easily perceive: — his verses prance in this manner.

WITHERS, a dull and drunken sot,
A rustique-rymer o'er a pot,
Whose barren genius hath the rot,
Hath writ a "Thank-Oblation."
And though his "Campo-Musae" sings
His love and loyaltie to kings,
Yet now hee calleth those vaine things
To this brave Reformation.
Now honest [John] Taylor, I commit
This brazen, undigested bit,
Unto thy more deserving wit
T' examine and retort:
And shew us how the doting foole
Hath dabled in a dirty poole,
To give the Common-wealth a stoole,
And we will thank thee for't.