1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Ogilvie

Charles Churchill, in The Journey, 1764; Poetical Works of Charles Churchill, ed. William Tooke (1804) 2:371-74.



If fashionable grown, and fond of pow'r,
With hum'rous Scots let them disport their hour;
Let them dance, fairy like, round Ossian's tomb;
Let them forge lies and histories for Hume;
Let them with Home, the very prince of verse,
Make something like a tragedy in Erse;
Under dark allegory's flimsy veil
Let them with Ogilvie spin out a tale
Of rueful length; let them plain things obscure,
Debase what's truly rich, and what is poor
Make poorer still by jargon most uncouth;
With every pert, prim prettiness of youth,
Born of false taste, with Fancy (like a child
Not knowing what it cries for) running wild,
With bloated style, by affectation taught,
With much false colouring, and little thought,
With phrases strange, and dialect decreed
By reason never to have pass'd the Tweed,
With words, which nature never meant each other's foe,
Forc'd to compound whether they will or no;
With such materieals, let them, if they will,
To prove at once their pleasantry and skill,
Build up a bard to war 'gainst common sense,
By way of compliment to Providence.