1793 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir James Bland Burges

Anonymous, in "Marat. Political Eclogue" Morning Chronicle (11 August 1793).



ROSE.
Knight of the Catgut! oily chief of men!
Friend of my fame, and partner of my pen!
Since well we know thy paragraphick skill,
Try if thy voice for once can match thy quill.
Wake the sad strain; — attend a patriot's hearse
With tristful numbers and lugubrious verse:
Apt is the time, illustrious is the theme,
Nor thou the meanest of the muse's team,
For oft' I've heard enraptur'd swine-herds tell
Sir JOSEPH MAWBEY sings not half so well.

BURGESS.
MAWBEY, base loon! dare he with me contend?
What will not next these sow-gelders pretend!
Now, now 'tis plain rank envy fir'd his breast,
Me with mock fondness when he thus addrest:
"Rash youth! in vain to luckless rhyme betrayed,
Leave not the pickle for the tuneful trade.
Lo, ambush'd criticks haunt the doubtful way;
Not thy own acid half so sharp as they!
But bounteous Europe spreads for thee her stores,
Her olives Spain, Westphalia sends her boars;
Oxford, that marked thy reason's earliest dawn,
Oxford — 'tis all she can! — shall send her brawn."
With artful counsel thus my ears he crams,
I smoaked his drift — but would not smoak his hams.