1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Langhorne

M. Macgreggor, Esq., in "The Battle of the Busts" Hibernian Magazine 8 (May 1778) 255.



Bung'd his eye with a bottle of best Burton ale,
An excellent judge of brown beer, mild or stale,
A Reverend Divine into court next came reeling,
The first of fine bards, with the females, for feeling:
Of friendship and fancy so free his effusions,
That he spouts in his drink, his poetic prolusions.
He open'd his mouth and attempted to speak,
In vain, in plain English, in Latin, in Greek;
A strange lapsus linguae in all overtook him,
The divine gift of tongues had so fairly forsook him.
At length mustering words up sufficient to mumble,
"A seat they must give him, or else — he should tumble;"
He said, he was ne'er cut so sadly before,
And was now drunk with toasting his dear Hannah More.
Apollo acknowledg'd he well knew the woman,
And therefore excus'd what might else be uncommon.
"But I," said he, "no man inspire with October,
So let Dr. Langhorne go sleep himself sober."