ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Dr. John Wolcot
G. B. R., "The Two Pindars; or, a Hint to Apollo" Felix Farley's Bristol Journal (13 October 1787).
Dr. John Wolcot:
1776 ca.: A Lady of Truro
1786 ca.: Edmond Malone
1786: D-s Pallet
1786: R. S.
1786: A Lady
1787: G. B. R.
1787: H. D.
1788: A Loyal Subject
1789: Harriet Falconar
1789: William Hayley
1789: Mrs. Boys
1790: Isaac D'Israeli
1790: Rev. Andrew Macdonald
1792 ca.: George Reid
1794: Thomas James Mathias
1794: A. N.
1796: Robert Burns
1796: William Wordsworth
1796: Alexander Balfour
1799: Mary Robinson
1800: William Gifford
1800: George Reid
1800: Thomas Dermody
1801 ca.: William Jackson
1801: Alexander Thomson
1802: Anne Grant
1806: Rev. Lawrence Hynes Halloran
1806: Samuel Jackson Pratt
1810 ca.: Anonymous
1811: Henry Crabb Robinson
1812: A. K.
1814: Leigh Hunt
1814: Thomas Barnes
1815: William Henry Ireland
1816: X. X.
1818: Thomas Enort Smith
1819: John Taylor Esq.
1820: John Keats
1820 ca.: Anonymous
1824: John Taylor Esq.
1826: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1827: Robert Southey
1830: Richard Warner
1831: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1832: John Taylor Esq.
1848: Benjamin Disraeli
1850: John Britton
1852: William Jerdan
1858: Cyrus Redding
1882: Margaret Oliphant
1882: Epes Sargent
G. B. R.:
1787: Dr. John Wolcot
When Theban Pindar swept the lyre
With hand of art, and soul of fire
The praise of heroes and of kings
Quiver'd along his trembling strings:
Proud on the pinions of an ode,
The monarch swell'd into the god:
The deep, majestic peal of song,
With force impetuous roll'd along;
And nations stood aghast with wonder,
Awed by the poet's deep-mouth'd thunder.
Not such indeed in modern times
The grand effect of lyric rhimes;
Some daring souls perhaps inherit
A portion of the Theban's spirit.—
But though their lay his lay resemble,
We chuse to laugh, and not to tremble.
Apollo! yield the iron chair,
Or place another Pindar there.
With merry heart, and lyre unstrung,
With ears unhurt, and nose unwrung,
Let Peter take the vacant place,
And read his odes with due grimace;
Pindar with you may nectar quaff,
Let Peter sit and make us laugh.
His rhimes will show that panegyric
Is not a theme for modern lyric;
And though, like Pindar, 'tis his object
To take a monarch for his subject,
He finds a good and pious king
May prove a mirth-exciting thing,
And so with great good-humour tries
To sink him in his people's eyes;
Bids them each fault and foible scan,
And lose the monarch in the man:
These are the odes that now-a-days
Receive the palm of public praise.
Then, Phoebus, let the favour'd bard
Meet from your hands his due reward!
First, let the brother Pindars quarrel,
The Theban grace with sprigs of laurel;
And since to different modes of song
A different meed must sure belong,
Mark this deserter from the church
With well-directed sprigs of birch.