1732 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Leonard Welsted, in Of Dulness and Scandal. Occasion'd by the Character of Lord Timon (1732) 5-7.



Inglorious Rhimer! low licentious Slave!
Who blasts the Beauteous, and belies the Brave:
In scurril Verse who robs, and dull Essays,
Nymphs of their Charms, and Heroes of their Praise:
All Laws, for Pique or Caprice, will forego;
The Friend of CATALINE, and TULLY'S Foe!

Oh! born to blacken every virtuous Name;
To pass, like Blightings, o'er the Blooms of Fame;
The Venom of thy baneful Quill to shed,
Alike, on living Merit, and the dead!
Sure! that fam'd MACHIAVIL! what time he drew
The Soul's dark Workings in the crooked Few;
The rancour'd Spirit, and malignant Will;
By Instinct base, by Nature shap'd to ill;
An unborn Demon was inspir'd to see,
And, in his Rapture, prophesied of Thee.

Ordain'd a hated Name by Guilt to raise!
To bless with Libel, and to curse with Praise!
A softling Head! that spleeny Whims devour;
With Will to Satyr, while deny'd the Power!
A Soul corrupt! that hireling Praise suborns!
That hates for Genius, and for Virtue scorns!
A Coxcomb's Talents, with a Pedant's Art!
A Bigot's Fury, in an Atheist's Heart!
Lewd without Lust, and without Wit prophane!
Outragious, and afraid! contemn'd, and vain!

Immur'd, whilst young, in Convents hadst thou been;
VICTORIA, still, with Rapture we had seen:
But now our Wishes by the Fates are crost;
We've gaind a THERSITE, and an HELEN lost:
The envious Planet has deceiv'd our Hope;
We've lost a ST. LEGER, and gain'd a POPE.