1695 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Anonymous, [On Blackmore's King Arthur] 1695 ca.; Collection of Epigrams (1727) No. CDVIII.



A grave physician us'd to write for fees,
And spoil no paper, but with recipes;
Is now turn'd poet, rails against all wit,
Except that little found among the great;
As if he thought true wit and sense were ty'd
To men in place, like avarice or pride;
But in their praise so like a quack he talks,
You'd swear he waited for his Christmas-box.
With mangled names, old stories he pollutes,
And, to the present time, past action suits;
Amaz'd we find, in ev'ry page he writes,
Members of parliament with Arthur's knights.
It is a common pastime to write ill,
And, doctor, with the rest, e'en take thy fill;
Thy satyr's harmless; 'tis thy prose that kills,
When thou prescrib'st thy potions and thy pills.