1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

Mary Robinson, "To Peter Pindar, Esq." Morning Post and Gazetteer (29 July 1799).



Since malice, dear PETER, has ventur'd to mention,
That THOU and thy MUSE have been hush'd with a pension,
Let truth, led by taste, the bold slander deny,
For no Court dost thou serve, but the Court of the Sky.

With thy patron, APOLLO, thou sport'st with the NINE,
For thy passion is fame — and thy loves are divine!
On the top of Parnassus thy revels are known,
And the flow'rs that surround it are, PETER, thy own!

Not for baubles of greatness, nor splendour of state,
But for laurels unfading, indebted to Fate;
Thou can'st smile at the poison which calumny flings,
While thy flight is immortal on Pegasus' wings.

Tho' no ribband may deck thy proud bosom, dear PETER,
Thou hast there a rich treasure whose comforts are sweeter.
Tho' no star on thy breast may enamour thy eye,
Still thy PLACE is august 'mid the STARS of the sky.

Tho' no title adorn thee, O Poet enchanting!
To shew, that more lasting endowments are wanting;
Yet thy name shall be written in letters sublime,
By the pencil of Fame, on the pages of Time.

'Tis not gold, merry PETER, that buys THEE a name,
'Tis the pure ore of Genius, made current by Fame;
'Tis that specie, which ne'er shall a counterfeit dread,
For its lasting impression is grac'd by thy head.

Let the vain and the pompous their splendours display,
They will shine for a moment, then shrink to decay;
While thy verse shall outlive all the shews of the age,
And the Herald of FAME place her shield on thy page.