1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Garden

Viator, "Inscription for the enormous Statue of Hygeia, erected bon the Sea-Side at Leith, by the late Lord Gardenstone" Morning Chronicle (25 November 1811).



A finish'd beauty I from London came,
Grace and proportion had adorn'd my frame;
But rash I tasted this impoison'd well,
And straight ('tis true, though wonderful to tell)
To size gigantic all my members swell.

Whether through coal the fountain urge its course,
Or noxious metals taint its hidden source,
Or (envious neighbours) CL—A stain
The stream with liquid from a Queen-street drain:

The effect is certain, though the cause obscure,
My figure ought to frighten no allure;
And blameless through the skilful sculptor's hand,
Not as a statue, but a beacon stand.

Those whom amusement or distemper brings
To view the pillar, or to taste the springs,
Warn'd by my fate, the nauseous draught decline,
Abstain from water, and indulge in wine!