1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Whitehead

Anonymous, "The Birth-Day Ode, anticipated" Public Advertiser (3 June 1780).



On Monday Whitehead's Verse will shine;
This Day be sacred, then, to mine.
Whitehead will tell, and tell us true,
(What we, as well as Whitehead knew,)
That G— is generous, just, and kind,
But will he tell us G— is blind?
Will Whitehead say that the Germaine
Was valiant on the German Plain?
Will he, although he write in Haste,
Say Jemmy Twitcher's sober, chaste?
Will he, by Laws of Aristotle,
Prove Rigby does not love his Bottle?
Or, will he paint the Premier's Worth,
The Wind still blowing from the NORTH?
Will he (the modern Taste to suit)
Bring Melons from the Isle of Bute?
Will he, America to conquer,
Prove aught is done since Hill of Bunker?

Ah no! — though Flattery be in vogue,
A Real Poet is no Rogue:
Whitehead will print his harmless Rhimes,
And wish, and pray, for better Times:
While all the People read, and say
The Laureat's worthy of the Bay;
While all the People read, and sing,
The Poet's worthy such a King.