1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gifford

Alexander Thomson, in The British Parnassus, at the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1801) 55-56 & n.



GIFFORD, too, has his praise, to whose valour we owe,
The defeat of that silly, but dangerous foe
Of a pure simple Taste, that absurd affectation,
Which so late overrun more than half of the nation;
His attacks put to flight all that Band DELLA CRUSCAN,
Who had hither imported their Fooleries TUSCAN,
And whose thin silken doublets but ill could sustain
His BAVIAN hailstones and MAEVIAN rain.
You must take notice too, that the pow'rs of his mind,
Are no more than WOLCOT'S to Satire confin'd;
In complete proof of which, see his VIOLET-TUFT,
And his Dirge upon ANNA, with tenderness stuff'd.
Alas that two Bards of such Pathos and glee,
Two Spirits congenial, should thus disagree!
Should thus to the public their quarrels expose,
And furnish such triumph and mirth to their foes!
But embrace now, my Sons, and henceforth let your strife,
Be only who most can exhilarate life;
Since the Public apart ye so long have delighted,
How much might be done by your pow'rs, when united!

See the Bardomachia, or Battle of the Bards, a Macaronic Poem, for a full account of this terrible engagement.

Embrace, embrance, my Sons! be foes no more,
Nor glad vile Critics with true Poets gore.
POPE.