1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Simplicius, "The Old Lion" Whitehall Evening Post (15 March 1796).



When the Lion, his strength and activity gone,
And weigh'd down by exertions and age,
Still great in himself and his former renown,
Saw, unhurt, the contemptible rage—

From his weakness grown brave — of each insolant Ass,
Who alert and triumphant appear'd,
And scurrility bray'd and abuse, to his face;
Indignant and silent he heard.

Thus, exalted, O BURKE, and secure of thy fame,
And thy mind a bright Aegis to thee,
While the demagogues rave, and insult, and exclaim,
Thy renown no abatement shall see.

Fell delusion shall vanish and popular noise;
Great Truth shall recover her throne;
Thy Country shall hail thee the son of her choice,
And fair Liberty call thee her own.

In the records of Time shall the Patriot glow
With a fervor that never will die;
And thy honours shall rise with thy CHATHAM'S, when low
With thy CHATHAM'S thy ashes shall lie.