1793
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On the reiterated Charge of Persecution against the Christians.

Poems by George Butt. In Two Volumes.

Rev. George Butt


An epigram in one Prior stanza. Since this stanza was seldom if ever used in eighteenth-century epigrammatic verse, one may suppose that an allusion to Spenser is intended, possibly to Arthegal's encounter with Envy and Detraction at the close of the fifth book of the Faerie Queene. While the subject of the verses is not specified, one may suspect a dissenting clergyman attacking the religious establishment during the French Revolution. The epigram on the facing page, "To Gallosimius," begins "Flapping his sides, with crest and breast uprear'd, | The cock on dunghill, straining to be heard. . ." 1:186.



Still from dark nook shall bat-wing'd Scandal fly,
Rise and renew, though oft smote-down, her shriek,
Harsh in our ears repeat her one shrill cry,
Tho' false, still urg'd, and mischievous, tho' weak?
You tell me only Christians persecute,
But, taught in Candour's school, corrected say,
The Christian never acts the murd'rous brute,
Till from his shepherd's fold he runs astray;
Then grows he savage-fierce to rend and tear,
But, spite of red-cross mark, no lamb of Christ is there.

[1:187]