Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

ENGLISH BARDS,

AND

SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

TILL must I hear ?-shall hoarse * FITZGERALD

bawl

His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,

And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews 2. Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my. Muse ?

* IMITATION.
“ Semper ego auditor tantum nunquamne reponam
“ Vexatus toties rauci Theseide Codri?

Juvenal, Satire 1.
Mr. FITZGERALD, facetiously termed by COBBETT the “ Small Beer
Poet," inflicts his annual tribute of verse on the “ Literary Fund ;';
not content with writing, he spouts in person after the company have
imbibed a reasonable quantity of bad port, to enable them to sustain
the operation. .

Prepare for rhyme-I'll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song,

Oh! Nature's noblest gift-my grey goose-quill! Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will, Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen, That mighty instrument of little men!

10 The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose, Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride

The Lover's solace, and the Author's pride.

What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise !

How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!

Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,

With all the pages which 'twas thine to write.

But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside but now assumed again,

20

Our task complete, like Hamet's* shalt be free;
Tho' spurned by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day, no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream
Inspires our path, though full of thorns, is plain;
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

When Vice triumphant holds her sov’reign sway, . And men through life her willing slaves obey; When folly, frequent harbinger of crime,' ' Unfolds her motley store to suit the time; 30

When Knaves and Fools combined o'er all prevail,

When Justice halts, and Right begins to fail,

E’en then the boldest start from public sneers,
Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears,

* Cid HamET BEN ENGELI promises repose to his pen in the last chapter of Don QUIXOTE. Oh! that our voluminous gentry would follow the example of Cid HAMET BENENGELI,

More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule though not from Law.

40

Such is the force of Wit! but not belong
To me the arrows of satiric song;
The royal vices of our age demand
A keener weapon, and a mightier hand.
Still there are follies, e'en for me to chace,
And yield at least amusement in the race :
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game:
Speed Pegasus !-ye strains of great and small,
Ode! Epic! Elegy !-have at you all!
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time
I poured along the town a flood of rhyme,
A school-boy freak, unworthy praise or blame;
I printed-older children do the same.

'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print; A Book's a Book, altho' there's nothing in't.

Not that a Title's sounding charm can save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This LAMB must own, since his Patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame *
No matter, GEORGE continues still to write t,
Tho' now the name is veiled from public sight.

Moved by the great example I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review: 60

Not seek great JEFFREY's, yet like him will be
Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

A man must serve his time to every trade

lan

Save Censure, Critics all are ready made.
Take hackncyed jokes from MILLER, got by rote,
With just enough of learning to misquote ;

* This ingenuous youth is mentioned more particularly, with his production, in another place.

* In the EDINBURGH REVIEW.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »