1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

D. J., "A Ballad" Gentleman's Magazine 47 (April 1777) 187.



Mr. URBAN,
Hearing the following ballad sung lately in the streets, I could not avoid buying and sending it to you, as the thoughts seem to me so much above par, and are fraught with so good and kind a meaning, that I shrewdly suspect they originate from some superior genius in disguise.
Yours,
D. J.

Come let us all pray for protection
To our gracious heavenly God,
Lest we have cause for deep reflection,
Like the unhappy Dr. Dodd,
Who, though so great, so fine a preacher,
And once a Chaplain, as they tell,
This reverend and learned teacher,
How, alas! alas! he has fell!

His yearly income, we are informed,
Was five or six hundred so round;
And if he could not live upon it,
How must a curate with forty pound?
But pride and luxury bring ruin,
And to the greatest misery:
Now this was Dr. Dodd's undoing,
And set him upon forgery.

He forg'd the bond, it was purporting
To be the bond of a noble Peer;
Four thousand two hundred pounds it mentions,
Which Dr. Dodd received, we're clear:
He paid the broker he employed
For his trouble, without doubt,
And in a very few days after
This forgery it was found out.

The noble Lord deny'd the signing,
And Dr. Dodd was taken up,
Just at the time he had provided
An entertainment for to sup.
He was examin'd and committed,
And has been try'd, cast, and condemn'd,
And a shameful death must suffer,
Unless one Person stands his friend.

O how his whole frame shook and trembled,
When sentence upon him was past,
To think, if mercy does not save him,
He must at Tyburn die at last!
With grief and anguish quite dejected,
In Newgate cells he now does lay:
O may his prayers be well received
Before the fatal, awful day!

Who could have thought the reverend preacher,
That never led his flock astray,
Should wander wide from what he taught them,
And go himself out of the way!
But it is plain, by the cock crowing,
How frail we are, both great and small,
And so let him who thinks he standeth,
Always take heed lest he fall.