1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Preston

Joseph Hillary, "Lines on Mr. Preston's new Tragedy, called Democratick Rage" Poems, consisting of Lyrick Pieces, Tales, Elegies (1794) 70-71.



Avaunt, ye Criticks! we defy you here;
Or will you damn yourselves, and be severe:
Know, the great Preston! scorns your critick spite,
Born in defiance of your rules to write.
In Democratick Rage who finds one fault,
Let him be branded for a sov'reign sot!
Yet some I've heard, their envious spleen is such,
Pronounce it a translation from the Dutch;
Tho' so original, that truth must own,
He seems to 'ave read no writings but his own:
Nor of his former sense one trace we find,
So well the subject answers to his mind;
Where, in a revolution of the head,
Old arbitrary Wit was laid aside.
Proceed great Bard! and aid each tott'ring crown,
As clanging kettles help the lab'ring moon:
Proceed, and as our Sires of ancient times,
Charm'd the poor rats to death with crabbed rhymes;
So sing to death (and sing upon the stage)
The Democratick! Vermin of the age.