1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

George Dyer, "Cantabrigiana: Mr. Gilbert Wakefield" The Monthly Magazine 15 (March 1803) 140.



The late learned Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, formerly Fellow of Jesus College, being once asked his opinion of the poetry of Mr. Pye, the Laureate, replied, that he had read some of Mr. Pye's poems, of which he thought very handsomely. But being still further urged to give his opinion of an Ode that had just appeared in the public prints, he desired a friend to read it to him. The Introduction contained something about the singing of birds: Wakefield abruptly stopt his friend, and gave his opinion as follows, in allusion to the Poet-Laureat's name:

And when the Pye was opened,
The Birds began to sing:
And was not this a dainty dish,
To set before the King?