1781 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

J. D., "On Doctor Johnson's Lives of the Poets, wherein the Characters of contemporary Statesmen are occasionally handled" London Courant (2 October 1781).



When Johnson keen, didactic and morose,
Would noisy Humour and Bombast explode,
He warns like Garrick, strong Resemblance shows,
And speaks in Language of prodigious Load.

Exemplar still! when Public Virtue feels
The Parthian Arrows of his scornful Hate,
When Patriot Fame beneath his Thunder reels,
And blooming Laurels deck the Tools of State;

With kindred Action he maintains the Cause,
And "is himself the great Sublime he draws."