1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Beilby Porteus

C. B., "Occasion'd by Peter Pindar's late Attack on the Bishop of London" The True Briton (25 December 1799).



Presumptuous, foul Detractor, hence!
Fiend of envenom'd Impudence!
Hence to the Lake from whence thou'rt sprung,
And gnaw thy sacrilegious tongue!

But thou, great injur'd Prelate, hail!
Thee, weigh'd in Truth's unerring scale,
We see, with exultation high,
Perverted Falsehood's shafts defy;
Hear thee with Fervour's holy flame
The Gospel's saving sound proclaim;
And own thee, rang'd on Virtue's side,
The Church's Ornament and Pride.
Ah! vain indeed th' attempt to move
The fortress strengthen'd from above
The rock whose deep foundations brave
Malignant Envy's feeble wave.

Heav'n-born Religion lends to thee
Its adamantine panoply,
Which bright as with meridian blaze
Acts like the Sun's concentre'd rays,
And see, shrunk up his puny size,
The shrivell'd, worthless Insect dies.