1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Richard Cumberland, "Poetical Epistle to Dr. Goldsmith; or Supplement to his Retaliation: a Poem" 1774; General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (1 August 1778).



Doctor! according to our wishes,
You've character'd us all in dishes:
Serv'd up a sentimental treat
Of various emblematic meat:
And now it's time, I trust, you'll think
Your company shou'd have some drink;
Else, take my word for it, at least
Your Irish friends won't like your feast.
Ring then, and see that there is plac'd
To each according to his taste.

To Douglas, fraught with learning, stock
Of critic lore, give ancient Hock;
Let it be genuine, bright and fine,
Pure unadulterated wine;
For if there's fault in taste, or odour,
He'll search it, as he search'd out Lauder.

To Johnson, philosophic sage,
The moral Mentor of the age,
Religion's friend, with soul sincere,
With melting heart, but look austere,
Give liquor of an honest sort,
And crown his cup with priestly Port!

Now fill the glass with gay Champagne,
And frisk it in a livelier strain;
Quick! quick! the sparkling nectar quaff,
Drink it, dear Garrick! — drink, and laugh!

Pour forth to Reynolds, without stint,
Rich Burgundy, of ruby tint;
If e'er his colours chance to fade,
This brilliant hue shall come in aid;
With ruddy lights refresh the faces,
And warm the bosoms of the Graces!

To Burke, a pure libation bring,
Fresh drawn from clear Castalian spring;
With civic oak the goblet bind,
Fit emblem of his patriot mind;
Let Clio as his table sip,
And Hermes hand it to his lip.

Fill out my friend, the D*** of D***y,
A bumper of o ventual Sherry!

Give Ridge and Hi—ky, generous souls!
Of whiskey punch convivial bowls;
But let the kindred Burke regale
With potent draughts of Wicklow Ale;
To C*****k next, in order turn you,
And grace him with the vines of Furney!

Now, DOCTOR, thou'rt an honest sticker,
So take your glass, and chuse your liquor;
Wilt have it steep'd in Alpine snows,
Or damask'd at Silenus' nose?
With Wakefield's Vicar sip your tea,
Or to Thalia drink with me?
And, DOCTOR, I wou'd have you know it,
An honest, I, tho' humble poet;
I scorn the sneaker like a toad,
Who drives his cart the Dover road.
There, traitor to his Country's trade,
Smuggles vile scraps of French brocade:
Hence, with all such! for you and I,
By English wares will live, and die.
Come, draw your chair, and stir the fire:
Here, boy! — a pot of Thrale's Entire!