1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Y. Z., "On the Poet Laureat's New Year's Ode" Dublin Evening Post (9 January 1794).



In a brass-wir'd cage, the chattering PYE,
Rattling on the grating bars,
Invokes the Muses from the sky,
To sing of frost, and hail, and wars.

His tumid bombast roars aloud,
Like the hoarse murmur of a nitrous cloud,
When secret flame upon its vitals preys:—
But smoke alone from him proceeds;
A smoke that blackens martial deeds,
And would obscure the Sun on brightest days.

No wintry cold so chills the heart,
Or stupifies the brain,
As the dim fog his Odes diffuse—
Which strikes with horror ev'ry Muse,
And forces Phoebus to depart,
Till the foul vapour be condens'd to rain.

Miss Polly Hymny, pray draw near,
And pinch this Ass's drooping ear,
His leaden slumber to disperse:
Give him a Heliconian dram,—
Some sense into his numskull cram;
And Jemmy then will blush at his own verse!