1733 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Flatman

Anonymous, "The Insipid Triumvirate (occasioned by a late Political Ode, 1733) written by a deceased Author" Grub-Street Journal (10 November 1737).



Three Lyric Bards of that inspired race,
Who ruin Printers, and our Tongue disgrace;
Tho' PHOEBUS and their stars averse, in spight,
Make English Odes, who cannot English write:
Belov'd by Grocers, patroniz'd by Cooks,
Who crown their Verse with paste, to circulate their Books.

FLATMAN with grov'ling Muse the first arose,
Whose flights in Ode, sunk beneath humble prose:
So well his numbers with his name agree,
The first great Type of CIBBER'S Poetry.

TOM DURFY next in Sonnets blithe and Trillos,
Wrote Hum bum bums! Derry downs! and gay Twandillo's!
The Laurel wreath he claim'd; 'twas not his doom,
Reserv'd for solid Dullness yet to come.

Thy pension'd Lyre, O BAYS, for Projects strung,
Warbles forth Odes, not to be said, nor sung:
Sternholdian Hymns more artful in their way,
Tho' tag'd with ekes, for ever, and for aye.

But well thy Numbers would some Schemes adorn,
As stupid, dull, as much the publick scorn:
RECITATIVE excis'd! — Thus Party merit
Supplys defects of Language, Wit, and Spirit.