1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

Anonymous, "Stanzas addressed to the Muse of the falsely and self-named Peter Pindar" Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine 4 (November 1799) 367.



'Twas in a dark and treacherous hour,
Curst, inauspicious, crabbed, sour,
Thy mother brought thee forth;
At sight of thee the midwife squall'd,
And terrified the attendants call'd,
To view the horrid birth.

Sure thou wast born at SPITE'S decree,
Sure hawk-ey'd ENVY nutur'd thee,
And form'd thy mind malign;
That mind with SPLEEN and MALICE fraught,
Where dwells each vile and ranc'rous thought,
Thoughts vulgar and obscene.

The veriest stuff of Grub-street lore,
Thou truly imitat'st, nay, more,
In nonsense, that exceeding,
Old Pindar art thou like? I think,
Where he is sweet that thou dost st—k,
The Red-caps only leading.

But while thy pages foul I spurn,
To others will I proudly turn,
To those my voice will raise,
Who nobly seek their country's weal,
Whose loyal worth, and patriot zeal,
Deserve a nation's praise.

Vain ape! do thou resign thy name,
'Midst Theban domes dwells Pindar's fame,
Delight of learned men;
Too mighty for thy puny rage,
Ill-written, on the FOOLS-CAP page,
By scrubbed, worn-out pen.

Each true-born Briton views thy fall
With eye prophetic; aye, and all
The loyal sing Te Deum;
Thy vulgar thoughts, and low-bred wit,
For CLOACINA'S temple fit,
There find their MAUSOLEUM.