1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Chesterfield

Thomas Clio Rickman, "Impromptu on Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his Son. Written at the Hague, 1785" Poetical Scraps (1803) 1:77-78.



At a party select, in the regions below,
Don PLUTO himself in the chair,
Some blasphemous toast, with each bumper must flow,
For all the shrewd devils were there.

At length 'twas agreed by the circle bedamn'd,
While conversing of earth and mankind,
That a favourite votary by each should be nam'd,
Renown'd for his vices refin'd.

In full-flowing goblets we'll give each choice son,
Cries PLUTO, with infinite glee;
There is one who has lately a system begun,
Would have honour done even to me.

Then take, he continued, these Letters divine,
(And to each the choice volumes were given,)
The angels themselves will swear they are mine,
So complete their attack against heaven.

Fill high then your glasses ... aye, fill them a brimmer,
With success to the work so much fam'd;
And while you revere the accomplished sinner,
With grace be our CHESTERFIELD nam'd!