1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

John Wolcot, "On the Style of Dr. Johnson" The Monthly Magazine 36 (November 1813) 332.



I own I like not Johnson's turgid style,
Who gives an inch th' importance of a mile!
Uprears the club of Hercules, for what?
To crush a butterfly, or brain a gnat;
Creates a whirlwind from the earth to draw
A goose's feather, or exalt a straw;
Sets wheels on wheels in motion, such a clatter,
To force up one poor nipperkin of water;
Bids ocean labour with tremendous roar,
To heave a cockle-shell upon the shore;
The same on every theme his pompous art,
Heaven's awful thunder, or a rumbling cart!