1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

James Harley, in The Press, or Literary Chit-Chat. A Satire (1822) 19-21 &n.



POCUS.
You would not have him take the throne of Leigh,
That would be worse, my friend, than treachery—

JOCUS.
Ah! I forgot the true legitimate
King of the cockneys' literary state;
Yet as a viceroy Hazlitt still may reign
Whilst the chief monarch dares the raging main.*

HOCUS.
When is the offspring of his royal tour
Its triple sweets upon our coast to pour?

POCUS.
One of the trio is no more: of him
Let silence be the fittest requiem;
And when the others send the promised treat,
Doubtless as profitable as discreet,
Is hard to tell — I doubt if either can
Say when mature will prove the vaunted plan.

HOCUS.
Harold and Rimini, a noble pair,
Will not the first time meet in union there;
The Dedication—

JOCUS.
Ah! the poignant page
To mark the "fellow-feeling" of the age!
Peeping through "Foliage" new Don Juans may,
Haply conceal'd, their modest gambols play;
Whilst Manfreds with Leanders boldly stalk
Or Heros with Gulnares together walk.
Thrice happy book to make the nations free,
And teach benighted Englishmen to see!

POCUS.
Who'll usher forth the numbers — Murray fears
To draw a hurley-burley round his ears?

JOCUS.
From the pure purlieus of famed Catherine-street
Perchance may issue the expected treat.

HOCUS.
Fit soil for such a plant — oh! may it ne'er
Inhale the breezes of a purer air!
Whilst the Examiner deplores its price
Reduced, not "par necessite," but choice;
The magic essays shall the press revive,
And teach the brothers how in wealth to live.
A glorious couple, hand in hand they'll start,
This to convince the head, that sap the heart;
Gaunt Twop'nny's ashes phoenix like will rise
By the "great union's" aid to mortal eyes;
Boy Johnnys yet unborn will own its sway,
And bas-bleu washerwomen bless the day!

POCUS.
Oh! for a blast to sink the noxious freight,
And crush the viper ere it meet our sight!

* Leigh Hunt has been voted by common consent chief of a knot of author's christened in Blackwood's Magazine, the Cockney School. We are threatened with a periodical miscellany from the pens of Hunt and Byron, in which the prematurely cut off Shelley was to have taken a part. The morality of Childe Harold, and the politics of the Examiner will be well met.