1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Cottle

Charles Caleb Colton, in Hypocrisy, a Satire (1812) 11-12 &n.



Hail Devon, hail each rhime re-echoing stream,
Famed for poor poetry, and richest cream!
That might with love of tea the Nine inspire,
While Epic Bards by dozens blow the fire;
Inclosures stop, with geese each common fill,
And send us, Neckingar, thy patent mill;
Let Printer's devils too, a "grisly band,"
The flood-gates lift of ink, and drown the land;
Or stop, by all we've read, and more we fear
To read, O scribblers, stop your blind career;
Forbear with hands profane, and gallic rage,
To revolutionise the British page!
Ye make no figure with your feeble trash,
But, like the Whip club, merely cut a dash!

* A Lady at Exeter lately gave a tea party to six Gentlemen; on comparing notes, it came out that every individual of this marvelous Symposium had written an Epic Poem. I shall not mention their Names, as their knuckles are still sore from the gentle rapping of some Northern Critics; but on mutually condoling with each other, on this tender subject, they were heard to exclaim, "Et nos ergo manum ferulae subuximus, et nos." This covey of bards was a meeting purely accidental; "miserum est cum tot ubique vatibus occurras."