1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

E. T. P., "On the numerous Epitaphs, &c. written on Dr. Samuel Johnson" Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (2 February 1785).



When Gulliver lay prone on ground,
The Lilliputians throng'd around;
Unnumber'd was the host that ran
All o'er the great, gigantic man.

So Johnson, when to earth laid down,
A second Gulliver was known;
The Lilliputian Poets pour,
Around his corpse, in numbers more,
Than e'er on paper scrawl'd before!

See one Parnassus flax entwines,
And binds him strongly down with lines!
Others their bulls poetic jingle,
And strive the Doctor's ears to tingle.

But O! take heed, ye sons of Thumb,
Nor come so near to meet your doom;
For should your noise be somewhat louder,
He'll wake, and grind you all to powder!
Jan. 10, 1785.