1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Teddy Pindar, "To the Poet Laureat" Morning Chronicle (7 January 1794).



Good Sir — your labours now suspend,
A while throw off your Laureat load;
Take my advice, for I'm your friend,
And dream not in your Birth-day Ode.
That is, in your next rumbling prose poetical,
Be dull, be any thing, be not prophetical.
When next you dip your pen in ink,
Your sack and salary to earn,
From past experience you may learn,
It would not be amiss to think—
To think, how sadly you have been mistaken,
And from stern critics save your rusty bacon.
Never again ascend the "southmost steep"
Of France, in order there to peep
Into the chaos of futurity.
Better by much that you should dreamless snoring sleep,
For fear again you tumble in the miry deep;
And then, poor soul!
Close, cheek by jowl,
With Dunciad Laureat Cibber, floundering lie.
Besides, in this said visionary view,
Others may blindly see as far as you,
And farther too,
And that perhaps with only half an eye;
Should they do so,
Folks, apropos,
Would call you (oh opprobrious!) a Goose Pye.
Many there are delight in tart,
I own I love it, to my heart;
And should there chance to be one nigh,
I like a cut at a Goose Pye.

P.S. As sure as coal will burn to cinder,
You'll have a lash from Uncle Pindar.