1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Thomas James Mathias, in Pursuits of Literature (1798) 80 & n.



With Spartan Pye lull England to repose,
Or frighten children with Lenora's woes....

Spartan Pye — Mr. Pye, the present poet Laureate, with the best intentions at this momentous period, if not with the very best poetry, translated the verses of Tyrtaeus the Spartan. They were designed to produce an animation throughout the kingdom, and among the Militia in particular. Several of the Reviewing Generals (I do not mean the Monthly or the Critical) were much impressed with their weight and importance, and at a board of General Officers, an experiment was agreed upon, which unfortunately failed. They were read aloud at Warley Common, and at Barham Downs by the Adjutants, at the head of five different regiments, at each camp, and much was expected. But before they were half finished, all the front ranks, and as many of the others as were within hearing or verse-shot, dropped their arms suddenly, and were all found fast asleep!!!