1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Anonymous, "To Thomas Campbell, Esq. an Epostulatory Epistle occasioned by his Specimens of English Poetry" Port Folio [Philadelphia] S4 15 (May 1823) 433.



"Stevens celebrated hard drinking, because it was the fashion — and his songs are now seldom vociferated, because that fashion is gone by." Specimens, Vol. vi. p. 437.

Sir, in your last work you the logic display
Of Aldrich, or Burgundick, Crousar, or Hamel,
But I think that you err very much when you say,
That the fashion of drinking is past, Mr. Campbell.

If fashion rejects jolly topers, 'tis plain,
That fashion's an ignorant sort of a strammel;
And a fashion so senseless, so dull, will remain
But a short time in vigour I think, Mr. Campbell.

In Ireland, I'm sure many ages must roll
Before with such rules our free spirits we trammel,
Before the bright lights of our bottle and bowl
Will cease o'er our tables to shine, Mr. Campbell.

Come over among us, sweet bard, and I swear
That when home you return with a nose red as stammel,
You will never again be so prompt to declare,
That the sons of gay Bacchus are dead, Mr. Campbell.

Then Oh! by that face which in prospect I view,
All glowing and grand with its purple enamel,
Retract your rash statement; so, Thomas, adieu,
For my punch is just out, and I'm tired,* Mr. Campbell.

* Tired, according to Cobbett, is a Quaker word to express drunk. How true this is I know not; [it is new to us. OLIVER OLDSCHOOL,] but I supplicate the gentle reader to take it in its more usual sense.