1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Pooke

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 3:331 & n.



The following facetious Dialogue between Sir William Browne and George Pooke, two modern Poets, in their respective styles, was printed in the public Newspapers.

SIR WILLIAM [Browne]:
George Pooke, I much commend your zeal,
For writing of Britannia's Weal,
And singing of her Glory;
When Charlotte's Royal Yacht set sail,
Rome, Scarlet Whore, at once turned pale,
And Terror seiz'd each Tory.

GEORGE:
Sir Knight, I'm glad you praise my loyal Verse;
But you know not how I rehearse
In a bold Ode the wicked ways
Of Surgeons to get Bodies now-a-days?
How they do dig from under-ground,
A Corpse, whose Burial cost its Friends five Pound.
It is a shameful, monstrous thing,
That which I in my Ode did sing;
And as you are one of the Faculty,
I hope you'll put a stop to't before I die.
For I would not, both for France and Spain,
When George Pooke's buried, that he should be taken up again.
Nor when once my Life is gone,
Would I be a dissecting Feast for the King's Surgeon.

SIR WILLIAM:
Well said, Old Steady; thou shalt sleep
Within the Ground, full ten feet deep:
For Surgeons, never dread them:
As I'm a Justice of the Peace,
I'll make the Knaves their rapine cease,
Or with an Axe behead 'em.

GEORGE:
Then will I sing of Royal Charlotte's Yacht,
Where our fair Queen on velvet Cushion sate:
Sometimes she look'd to Mecklenberg again,
And then she ask'd how far it was to Britain,
Ancaster's noble Duchess her did comfort;
And as to the Jack Tars, they made some sport.
She had good wine, and sweetmeats of the best,
And she knew the Garter was not tyed in jest
Round Harcourt's Leg. — The Court's bound by Proxy
The Queen for to maintain, both wet and dry.
And when she thought of such a certain Thing,
She nothing fear'd from marrying the King.

SIR WILLIAM:
Thy namesake, George, in blest abodes,
Will surely tell his brother Gods
Of all thy songs divine;
For me, my Odes should be resign'd;
I'd turn my back upon Mankind,
Could I but call them mine.

If any Reader, after perusing this Dialogue, should be disposed to enquire further respecting George Pooke, and has no objection to a hearty laugh; let him turn to Monthly Review, vol. XVII. p. 281; vol. XXVII. p. 158; vol. XXXVII. p. 315.