1790 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

John Wolcot, "An Ode on No Ode" Public Advertiser (11 February 1790).



What! not a sprig of annual metre,
Neither from THOMAS nor from PETER!
Who has shut up the Laureat's shop?
Alas! "poor Tom's a-cold," I fear,
For sack "poor Tom" must drink small beer,
And lo! — of that a scanty drop!

St. JAMES'S, happy, happy Court,
Where Luxury is thought to sport,
No more his tent shall THOMAS pitch in;
Can Odes of praise and wisdom cloy?
Shall Caesar's bard no more enjoy
The run of mighty Caesar's kitchen?

Loud roar of HELICON the floods,
PARNASSUS shakes thro' all his woods;
To think immortal verse should thus be slighted.
I see, I see the God of Lyric fire,
Drop suddenly his jaw, and lyre—
I hear, I hear the Muses scream affrighted!

Perchance the Royal Pair have puk'd with praise,
So lullabied, like children in the cradle!
Determin'd now to end the Laureat's days,
Who gives to Fame's pap, the Glutton, with a ladle,
Indeed, it is a generous mode of sinning,
Yet sets, unluckily, the world a grinning!