1757 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Whitehead

John Free, "Extempore Verses upon the late Choice of a Poet-Laureat" Gentleman's Magazine 27 (December 1757) 564.



The tradesman, Cambridge sophs, and play'rs,
Were all together by the ears,
About old Cibber's laurel;
While real poets, quite asham'd,
On such occasion to be name'd,
Ne'er meddled with the quarrel.
But Phaebus, mov'd to see his *Grace
Thus teaz'd and baited for the place,
Like any bear of Russia;
Cry'd, "Sir, don't prostitute your bays,
My Laureat he, who best shall praise,
The glorious king of Prussia."

* The Lord Chamberlain.