1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Anstey

AE, "To Christopher Anstey, Esq. the supposed author of Envy, a Poem, addressed to Lady Miller of Bath-Easton" Bath Chronicle (10 September 1778).



As oft, in play or in a fright,
Boys thrust their faces out of sight;
Conceal their heads behind a screen,
And fancy nothing else is seen;
Tho' they their legs and rump expose,
And thus their lurking-place disclose:
So A—STY, wrapt in classic veil,
His comic genius would conceal;
But strokes of humour force their way,
And soon the New Bath-Guide betray.
The stilted laugh, and sly grimace,
Appear beneath the serious face.
Nay, tho' he draws so droll a list
Of merry Bards as every p—st;
And hardly lets himself appear,
But just squeez'd in amongst the rear;
What thus his modesty conceals,
That modesty itself reveals.