1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

William Cook, in The Pleasures of Conversation (1822) 77-78.



JOHNSON, the Socrates of modern days,
Who must as often as he's named have praise,
Who in an age where talents sought their way
Through various routes of taste — caprice, or pay,
Though pressed by Poverty on every side,
Yet with a manly, firm — intrepid stride,
Form'd from himself a school of moral truth,
As guides for age — as institutes for youth,
His own example beaming through the whole,
In all the spotless purity of soul.