1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

William Hayley, in "On the Abuse of Satire" Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (5 August 1789).



What more than madness urg'd his motley strain,
To dare a PINDAR'S sacred name prophane;
That bard sublime, whose energetic song,
Like some rich torrent, swells its streams along;
Pours from the mountain with impetuous force,
O'er plains and vallies spreads its mighty course,
Sweeps the whole harvest, whelms the leafy woods,
And vernal riches crowd its teeming floods?

'Tis Pindar's verse, like city shower, comes down,
"Threatening with deluge this devoted town,
When from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go;"
Streams all the muddy tide that, black as pitch,
Rolls on to Kearsly, thundering thro' the ditch;
The sewer parental owns the filial flood,
And yields a fouler stench, and thicker mud.