1800
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode on the Anniversary of Mr. Fox's first Election for the City of Westminster, October 10.

The True Briton (10 October 1800).

Anonymous


A burlesque ode "in imitation of Gray" written to ridicule a tavern-meeting of the supporters of the Opposition leader: "With noise perplex'd and rebel prate; | How vile the purpose of the Crowd! | How mean, how abject are the Proud! | How lessen'd are the Great!" The model is Gray's Ode to Spring. The poem is not signed. This poem appears as a kind of sequel to an earlier parody of Alexander's Feast, published in the True Briton 10 October 1796. Fox had also been the target of a parody of Gray's The Bard, published in the True Briton 25 January 1796.



Lo! where, in Blue and Buff array,
Black CHARLEY'S Bards appear,
Proclaim the Mob-exciting Day,
And waken loyal fear!
The Tavern-Chairman strains his throat,
Re-echoing ev'ry hackney'd note,
The Modern Politics of GAUL;
While venting mischief as they fume,
Cropp'd Patriots thro' the wide Club-room
Their treasur'd tenets bawl.

Where'er the WHIGS bold ruffians join
A darker dirtier Crew,
Where'er the senseless Rabble dine,
Mix'd with a better few,
Beside some table, smear'd with drink,
With me the Muse shall try to think,
With noise perplex'd and rebel prate;
How vile the purpose of the Crowd!
How mean, how abject are the Proud!
How lessen'd are the Great!

Hush'd are the roarings of the Host,
The leading men harangue—
And hark, how soon a factious Toast
Delights the drunken Gang.
The desp'rate Herd are all on fire,
Intent dominion to acquire
And rise, amidst the Nation's woe:—
Some to the Treas'ry take their way,
In fancy on the State they prey,
And ORDER'S reign o'erthrow.

To firm BRITANNIA'S searching eye,
Such are the guests of Fox,
And whether they are low, or high,
Their System REASON shocks;
Alike the Needy and the Rich,
Seem to have caught the Gallic Itch,
To mad Reform their doctrines tend:
Urg'd by the AXE of ROBESPIERRE,
Or a bold CONSUL'S high career,
In Despotism they end.

Methinks I heard in accent low,
Some democratic knave—
"Dull Satirist! and what art thou?
A CONSTITUTION slave!—
Thou tamely tread'st in Custom's road,
Content with ENGLAND'S Regal Code,
Fearful of Jacobinic sway;
To prouder heights our efforts tower,
To Gallic plunder, Gallic pow'r,
We therefore bless this day."

[unpaginated]