1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ann Yearsley

John Williams, in "Children of Thespis" Poems by Anthony Pasquin (1789) 2:250 &n.



We have GREATHEADS and YEARSLEYS, and SEWARDS, and MORES,
Who rave with Cimmerian influence by scores;
A Boetian hush, for such faculties fit,
Enfolds their ideas and cases their wit;
Who count their minc'd periods, as misers count pence,
And first think of harmony, then — think of sense;
Who have glean'd fertile BYSSHE of all good he can yield,
As the poor of the hamlet strip Ceres' rich field;
Who coldly correct, have accomplish'd their ends,
By the dull visitation of classical friends;
Tho' no grain of rich ore gives true worth to the mine,
Tho' no feature of Genius illumines a line;
Who fine-draw the delicate theme from the head,
And toil at the texture, and rhime themselves dead;
But such phrase-haberdashers and epithet finders,
Are not poets innate, but mere Poetry-grinders....

ANNE YEARSLEY, a milkwoman at Clifton, near Bristol, celebrated as a "mawkish wonder," for writing familiar poems, without point, strength, or originality, a sort of degenerated STEPHEN DUCK.