1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas James Mathias

D., "On reading the following Lines in the Pursuits of Literature" Edinburgh Magazine or Literary Miscellany NS 14 (September 1799) 217-18.



"Stout Gloucester mark in Pamphagus advance,
Who never stood aghast in speechless trance."
Part II. p. 96. v. 234.

Not Gloucester, sure, was Pamphagus but you.
You've worried all, — the charge is fair and true.
Your muse o'ercharg'd, her spiteful gall to spill,
Has spattered thousands with her random quill,
Nor dares unveil her dark distorted face,
That scowls malign on all the scribbling race;
On good, on bad, with undistinguish'd force,
Her thunders burst, and strike without remorse.
Just two have 'scap'd, and who these select two
Bryant and Gifford — faith 'tis wondrous few:
Bryant is generous, sage, and deeply read,
And Gifford penn'd the peerless Baviad.
Let Coxe and Darwin stand aghast and mute
And Shakespeare's Tinkers tamely wear the brute,
But pedant Parr where is thy vengeance fled;
And is thy Latian lore asleep, or dead?
Is graceless Gibbon's fame thy dying work?
And not one stricture left to lash this Turk?
Who, like Dahomy's tyrants, butchers all,
And paves with learned sculls his blood-stain'd hall.