1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

Lady Anne Hamilton, in Epics of the Ton (1807) 275-76 & n.



What! no Mecaenas! when the things abound;
A patron e'en for Dermody was found;
That scape-grace, born to show our wondering times,
With how much vice a man may tag smooth rhymes:
Peers, o'er this hopeful genius, strove to watch,
And titled dames supplied his gross debauch....

This youth had acquired an easy knack of writing smooth verses at a very early age. But if he was distinguished for this proof of genius, he was still more remarkable for an ungovernable propensity to every species of vice, which he seemed to have acquired in his very nonage. He applied himself, however, to the great; and the discerning great showered upon him a more liberal patronage than almost any man of genius has lately received at their hands. Yet all was in vain. Dermody's debauchery became disgraceful and shocking to the last degree; and no resources were sufficient to save him from want. He closed his career at length in a garret; and, what may seem most wonderful, one Raymond has given to the public the memoirs of this interesting character in two octavo volumes; and, if I am not mistaken, has promised to enlarge still further on the theme!