1790 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

Anonymous, "On the good Friends of Dr. Johnson" English Chronicle (7 January 1790).



While on his arms tenacious BOSWELL lies,
While shameless PIOZZI straddles o'er his thighs,
While lumbering HAWKINS o'er his heart is spread,
And puling STRAHAN squats upon his head;
Johnson seems crush'd beneath the enormous weight,
And Virtue, murmuring, leaves him to his fate.
But when this four fold Incubus, this spawn
Of Pride and Ignorance, flits at Reason's dawn,
The Giant, by his own elastic pow'r,
Shall spring alert, from earth, to fall no more;
Rear his tall head above the crowd sublime,
And stand the Pharos of the coming time.