1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Whitehead

Alcibiades, "Extempore Verses on the Poet Laureat's Ode for 1776" London Evening Post (11 January 1776).



Alas! poor Master Laureat,
What, not another stanza?
Why, Sir, I fear, you've caught the cold,
Yclep'd the influenza.

No conquests to adorn your rhimes,
No vaunts nor threats terrific;
Instead of thunder, blood, and war,
Your lines run now pacific.

Your style is strangely alter'd, Sir,
From what 'twas heretofore;
You seem to me to be afraid
To vaunt and brag encore.