1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Anonymous, "Epitaph on Dr. Goldsmith" Public Advertiser (4 May 1774).



Here lies the Butt of all his Betters;
The Riddle of the World of Letters;
A Man of Sense of no discerning;
A Scholar of no greater Learning:
A Bard, whose Genius soar'd sublime
A whole half Year to tag a Rhime;
Made roar Box, Gallery, and Pit,
Without one Grain of Mother-Wit;
A Man of Science so profound,
He'd prove a Square to be a Round;
Would talk of animated Nature,
As if himself had been Creator;
Of Animation though bereft,
His Right Hand oft forgot his Left:
A mere good-natur'd Man through Meekness,
His moral Virtue, natural Weakness:
A Medicast, whose matchless Skill,
In working Cures, was sure to kill;
By his own Art who justly died
A blundering, artless Suicide:
Share, Earth-worms, share, since now he's dead,
His megrim, maggot-bitten Head.