1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

David Hume

William Mason, in An Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers (1773); Coleridge, Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire (1836) 461.



Does Envy doubt? Witness, ye chosen train,
Who breathe the sweets of his Saturnian reign;
Witness, ye Hills, ye Johnsons, Scots, Shebbeares,
Hark to my call, for some of you have ears;
Let David Hume, from the remotest north,
In see-saw sceptic scruples hint his worth;
David, who there supinely deigns to lie,
The fattest hog of Epicurus' sty;
Though drunk with Gallic wine and Gallic praise,
David shall bless old England's halcyon days:
The mighty Home, bemired in prose so long,
Again shall stalk upon the stilts of song;
While bold Mac Ossian, wont in ghosts to deal,
Bids candid Smollett from his coffin steal;
Bids Malloch quit his sweet Elysian rest,
Sunk in his St. John's philosophic breast,
And, like old Orpheus, make some strong effort
To come from hell, and warble "Truth at court."