1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Charles Churchill

Charles Caleb Colton, in Hypocrisy, a Satire (1812) 75-76 &n.



Stern Churchill's* lines want elegance, and ease,
They often petrify, but seldom please;
In garb of linsey woolsy, rough, and coarse,
He clothes his muse, proud, petulant, and hoarse,
A bold, but blind and boisterous partizan,
He wounds the Vice, less deeply than the Man.

* His Prophecy of Famine seems to have excited, at the time it was written, more attention than it deserved; and at present, in common with all his other works, is perhaps too much neglected. But this is the usual fate of all writers who are indebted to political parties, or national prejudices for their popularity. When the Prophecy of Famine was shewn to Wilkes, previous to its publication, he shrewdly observed, that "It must take, for it was political, personal, and poetical." May not then the fame of Churchill be considered to have been erected on a kind of Tripos? and if the Fabric now begins to totter, is it not because the hand of Time has deprived it of two of its legs, Politics and Personalities?