1797 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Thomas Clio Rickman, "Impromptu on the Death of Edmund Burke, and the extravagant Matter written and said about him" 1797 ca.; Poetical Scraps (1803) 2:49-50.



Of BURKE, what a parcel of nonsense and clatter!
We'll say, if we can, something nearer the matter:

He was neither so good, nor so bad, as some say;
Nor so wise, nor so foolish, as others pourtray;
But of much less dimensions in every way.
An eloquent man we'll admit he might be,
But this he declares, (and with him we agree,)
"Is neither of talent nor wisdom a test,"
But where these are absent oft' flourishes best.

As to stuff of his fame's being immortal and so,
It proves little acquaintance with matters below,
And how fast men and things to oblivion go.

If his fame should survive, and his memory reign,
He may thank the immortal productions of PAINE;
For as to his writings, as standing alone,
'Tis chance if a hundred years hence they are known.