1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

William Gifford, in The Baviad (1791) 45.



And may not I — now this pernicious pest,
This metromania, creeps thro' every breast;
Now fools and children void their brains by loads,
And itching grandams spawl lascivious odes;
Now lords and dukes, curs'd with a sickly taste,
While Burns' pure healthful nurture runs to waste,
Lick up the spittle of the bed-rid muse,
And riot on the sweepings of the stews;
Say, may not I expose—