1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Colman the Younger

Thomas Hood, "Ode to George Colman the younger, Deputy Licenser of Plays" London Magazine NS 1 (January 1825) 104-06.



Come, Colman! Mrs. Gibbs's chum!
Virtue's protector! Come, George, come,—
Sit down beside this beech,
That flourisheth in Fulham road;
And let me all my heart unload
Of levity, — and preach!

Thou'rt alter'd, George, since thy young days
Of wicked verse and heedless plays,
With double meanings cramm'd;
"White for the harvest" is thine age,
Thou chief curse-cutter for the stage,
And scourger of the damn'd!

Thou that wert once th' offender, — thou
The police-officer art now;
The vicious are thy crop!
Thou'rt Doctor Cotton to a play,
Keeping it from damnation's way,
When doom'd for the new drop!

Thy predecessor was content,
Like Byron, "to let Reynolds vent
His dammees, poo's, and zounds!"
But thou, like Maw-worm, cloth'st thyself
With ill-got, oath-correcting pelf,
And turnest damns to pounds

Poor Farce! her mourning now may put on!
And Comedy's as dead as mutton!
(No sheep must have a dam).
Farewell to Tragedy! her knell
And neck are wrung at once, — farewell
The Drama! — (dele "dram").

George! hath some serious man in black
Slipp'd in thy hand the small sly "track,"
All verbal sins to paint?
Or art thou labouring to be one
Like sleek dead Mr. Huntington—
Half Coalman — and half saint?

Well might unusual crimson rush
Into thy cheeks, — (no claret blush)
For thy young muse's sins!
Ah! who could think that prim pursed mouth
Of her's had worn in early youth
The broadest of Broad Grins!

But she, — a wench of wicked sense,
Debauch'd into experience,
Knows what's the unclean cup:
No one, so well, I'll warrant me,
Can pitch upon a naughty Shee,
And show the creature up!

Has Irving taught thee how to trounce
Dramatic man, and to renounce
The wickedness of wit?
Or James convinced thee that the way
Some have of going to the play
Must lead them to the Pit!

Nothing like thee — to Heaven's praise!
(Forgive th' appeal!) plagu'd Bess's days,—
Her poet's hope to quell:
Hads't thou liv'd then, we should have had
No vile, immoral Warwick lad,
With all his "blasts from Hell!"

Who would believe, my good yeoman,
Like thy own deviating Dan
Thou ever hads't given up
Thyself to whistle and to stray,—
To drink with Dukes and Ladies gay
A very merry cup!

Two-Guinea Censor! too particular
In virtue's slang! too great a stickler
For oaths and prayers in blank!
Poor D. dash D. is all that goes
With thee, thou Legend of Montrose!—
Pah! — thy offence is Rank!

Good bye to Godby! (dele "God"!)
Methinks I see all curtains nod
To one sad final fall!
Stages must sink from bad to worser,—
The sad precursor (dele "cursor")
Of ruin frowns on all!

Who, George — Oh, who that hath of wit
A grain, — his fancies will submit
To nonsense and to Thee?—
What! — come, to be "run through," and then
Give sovereigns to reward the pen
That cut us? — U. B. D.!