1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gifford

Nestor, "The Rival Bards" Morning Chronicle (6 September 1800).



GIFFORD, who erst, the polish'd and polite,
In arms of proof and action debonair,
Put a whole host of Minor Bards to flight,
Now struts a Drawcansir with hideous stare!

PINDAR — the playful PINDAR, when inspir'd,
Spares neither Merit, Rank, nor Sex, nor Age:
Touch but Curl of his Wig, and, fir'd,
He burns with more than troubled Aetna's rage!

Bludgeons and Blows, coarse Phrase, Revilings base,
And wanton Gibes grown stale in public stews,
The Blush of Morals and the Time's Disgrace—
These are the TROPES and FIGURES of the Muse!

Come, then, MUNRO, extend thy healing hand;
Arrest this foul Distemper of the Brain;
And save — oh, instant save, a menac'd Land
From the wild raving of two Wits insane!