1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

Thomas Enort Smith, "Sonnet addressed to a venal Calumniator of Lord Byron" The Monthly Magazine 59 (March 1825) 143.



"Every good to bad he doth abuse:
And eke the verse of famous poet's wit,
He does backbite, and spiteful poyson spues
From leprous mouth, on all that ever writ;
Such, O vile Envy was, that first in rowe did sit."
SPENSER'S FAIRY QUEEN.

Poetic Esau, sordid slave of gold,
Thou who didst once prate loud of tyranny,
Yet for a mess of courtly pottage sold
The birthright of divinest Liberty!
Poetic Esau, like mean Judas base,
Whose heart was Mammon's trap, insidiously
Thou didst kiss Freedom on her sun-bright face,
Swearing thy bosom-love's true fealty!
Poetic Esau! loud thy name shall ring:
For England holds no treacherous foe like thee!
Thou, who with hollow heart and voice canst sing,
"God bless free-men!" aye, "God bless slavery!"
Away, thou poor, mean-hearted, worthless thing!
Away, thou treacherous son of vile apostacy!
Hawley Cottage, Kent.