1766 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "To Mr. Pope on his Dunciad" The Festoon: a Collection of Epigrams (1766) 22.



The raven, rook, and pert jack-daw,
(Tho' neither birds of moral kind)
Yet serve, if hang'd or stuff'd with straw,
To shew us which way blows the wind.

Thus dirty knaves, or chatt'ring fools,
Strung up by dozens in thy lay,
Teach more by half than Dennis rules,
And point instruction ev'ry way.

With Egypt's art thy pen may strive:
One potent drop let this but shed;
And ev'ry rogue that stunk, alive,
Becomes a precious mummy, dead.