1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Oliver Goldsmith

Anonymous, "On the Death of Dr. Goldsmith" Public Advertiser (11 May 1774).



When Smollett and when Collins died,
No Poetaster whin'd or cried;
Mute all as Mackrel; O Disgrace
To all the rhyming writing Race!
Whereas when Goldsmith fell asleep,
Ev'n Genius chang'd his Sex to weep.*
This in the Scutcheon sure a Blotch
Both of the English and the Scotch!
—And yet in Nations civiliz'd,
The Living, not the Dead, are priz'd;
Tho' Huron, Catabaw, and Creek
Lament the Scalp'd with horrid Shriek;
Nay, the wild Irish still, 'tis said,
Howl, like Barbarians, o'er their Dead.**

* See that insipid Mess of Flummery, entitled the TEARS OF GENIUS [by Samuel Jackson Pratt], in which, for the first Time, Genius is represented as an Old Woman.

** It is remarkable that all the Elegiasts and Epitaph-mongers on Dr. Goldsmith are of his own Country, Irishmen; not one English, Welch or Scotch Bard among them!