1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

L— H—, in "Letters from Abroad; or the Cockney in Italy" Literary Magnet 4 (1825) 13.



Dear Hazlitt, you, and Webb, and all
That squad whom we may Cocknies call,
Must now be mad to hear about me—
(Pray how do you get on without me?)
A letter, therefore, penned from France,
And fraught with humour, will enhance
My value; for tho' still a rover,
And like yourself, but half-seas over,
I've yet so much to write, concerning
Myself, my travels, and my learning,
That God knows who, but you, my friend,
Will read me to my journies end.

You've heard, perhaps, of Psalmanazar,
Whose wit was keen as any razor;
And who, despite his simple diction,
Boldly ran off from fact to fiction;
So says the organ in my skull.
I've equal wonders to relate
Of Frenchmen born without a pate;
But this is nothing, as you know,
Since Pitt, and Percival, and Co.
Have governed both our quick and dead
For many years without a head.—
Enough of politics: 'tis time
To quit the Frenchman and his clime,
And rhapsodize concerning thee
And thine, dear land of Italy;—
But ere I rave of classic Pisa,
I'll send per foreign post from Nice, a
Few hints, which shaped, you may transfer
To Sunday next's Examiner.
Paris, May 3.