1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas James Mathias

Barachias [George Steevens], "The Pursuer of Literature Pursued" St. James Chronicle (3 May 1798).



With learned jargon and conceit,
With tongue as prompt to lie as
The veriest mountebank and cheat,
Steps forth the black * * * * * * *.

At first the world was all astounded!
Some said it was Elias:
But, when the riddle was expounded,
'Twas little black * * * * * * *.

This labour'd work would seem the job
Of hundred-handed Gyas;
But proves to issue from the nob
Of little black * * * * * * *.

Through learned shoals of garbled Greek
We trace his favourite bias;
But when the Malice comes to speak,
We recognise * * * * * * *.

What strutting Bantum, weak but proud,
E'er held his head so high as
This pigmy idol of the crowd,
The prancing pert * * * * * * *?

[Greek characters] he'll swear,
Is [Greek characters],
But men of sense and taste declare,
'Tis little black * * * * * * *.

Oh, were this scribbler, for a time,
Struck dumb, like Zacharias,
Who could regret the spiteful rhyme
Of little black * * * * * * *.

Small was his stature, who in fight
O'erthrew the great Darius;
But small in genius, as in height,
Is little black * * * * * * *.

Say, could'st thou gain the but of sack
And salary that Pye has,
Would it not cheer thy visage black,
Thou envious rogue * * * * * * *?

When next accus'd, deny it not!
Do think of Ananias!
Remember how he went to pot,
As thou may'st, friend * * * * * * *!