1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

Soame Jenyns, "Epitaph on Dr. Johnson" General Evening Post (20 May 1786).



Here lies poor JOHNSON. Reader, have a care,
Tread lightly, lest you rouse a sleeping bear;
Religious — moral — gen'rous and humane
He was — but self-sufficient, rude and vain:
Ill-bred and overbearing in dispute,
A scholar and a Christian — yet a brute.
Would you know all his wisdom and his folly,
His actions — sayings — mirth and melancholy,
BOSWELL and THRALE, retailers of his wit,
Will tell you how he wrote, and talk'd, and cough'd, and spit.