1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Johnson

Thomas Dermody, in "The Pursuit of Patronage" Poems Moral and Descriptive (1800) 53.



Could JOHNSON'S learned skill, or moral pow'r,
Whose science rifled ev'ry ATTIC flow'r,
Their honey-dews suck'd from all blooms that blow,
And stripp'd of all it's sweets HYMETUS' brow,
Could aught his wisdom or his worth obtain,
Thro' many a year elaborately vain?
In patient poverty his youth was past,
And when slow favour, ling'ring, came at last,
Life's sprightly vigour flown, enjoyment lost,
Dear was the gift that so much labour cost;
E'en polish'd STANHOPE, when too late imprest
With truth's resistless energy his breast,
The proffer'd good his vanity supply'd,
Saw with a manly fortitude deny'd,
Merit's proud modesty the kindness spurn'd,
By venal flattery to be return'd!