1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas James Mathias

Alexander Thomson, in The British Parnassus, at the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1801) 56-57 & n.



Let me now turn to view that anonymous Band,
Who send forth their arrows at Party's command,
And of course who derive the best tones of their Lyre,
From Political, not from Poetical fire;
Such is he, who descanting on Learning's PURSUITS,
His darts, tipp'd with poison, malignantly shoots
At the flow'r of her Sons, and, secure in his Mask,
Perseveres undismay'd in his infamous task;
While an elegant flight makes amends, at a time,
For many a dull page of prosaical Rhyme.

The anonymous Author of the Pursuits of Literature, who has had the good fortune hitherto to remain undetected.