Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

MILES ANDREWS still his strength in couplets try,
And live in prologues, though his dramas die. 700
Lords too are Bards: such things at times befal,
And 'tis some praise in Peers to write at all. .
Yet, did or taste or reason sway the times,
Ah! who would take their titles with their rhymes ?
Roscommon! SHEFFIELD! with your spirits fled,
No futurc laurels deck a noble head;
No Muse will cheer with renovating smile,
The paralytic puling of CARLISLE :
The puny Schoolboy and his early lay
Men pardon, if his follies pass away; 710
But who forgives the Senior's ceaseless verse,
Whose hairs grow hoary as his rhymes grow worse?
What heterogeneous honours deck thc Peer!

Lord, rhymester, petit-maitre, pamphleteer* !

* The Earl of Carlisle has lately published an eighteen-penny pamphlet on the state of the Stage, and offers his plan for building a new theatre: it is to be hoped his Lordship will be permitted to bring forward any thing for the Stage, except his own tragedies,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

So dull in youth, so drivelling in his age,
His scenes alone had damned our sinking stage ;
But Managers for once cried, “hold, enough!"
Nor drugged their audience with the tragic stuff,
Yet at their judgment let his Lordship laugh,
And case his volumes in congenial calf:

720 Yes! doff that covering where Morocco shines, And hang a calf-skin* on those recreant lines.

With you, ye Druids! rich in native lead,

[ocr errors]

Who daily scribble for your daily bread;

With you I war not: GIFFORD's heavy hand

Has crushed, without remorse, your numerous band,

* “ Doff that lion's hide
6 And hang a calf-skin on those recreant limbs."

SHAK: KING Joun, Lord C.'s works, most resplendently bound, form a conspicuous ornament to his book-shelves :

- " The rest is all but leather and prunella.”

[ocr errors]

730

On “ all the Talents” vent your venal spleen,
Want your defence, let Pity be your screen.
Let Monodies on Fox regale your crew,
And Melville's Mantle* prove a Blanket too!
One common Lethe waits each hapless Bard,
And peace be with you! 'tis your best reward.
Such damning fame as Dunciads only give
Could bid your lines beyond a morning live;
But now at once your fleeting labours close,
With names of greater note in blest repose.
Far be't from me unkindly to upbraid
The lovely Rosa's prose in masquerade,
Whose strains, the faithful echoes of her mind,

Leave wondering comprehension far behindt.

740

* MELVILLE's Mantle, a parody on “ Elijah's Mantle,” a poem.

+ This lovely little Jessica, the daughter of the noted Jew K---, seems to be a follower of the Della Crusca School, and has published two volumes of very respectable absurdities in rhyme, as times go; besides sundry novels in the style of the first edition of the Monk

Though Bell has lost his nightingales and owls,
Matilda snivels still, and Hafiz howls,

And Crusca's spirit, rising from the dead,

Revives in LAURA, Quiz, and X. Y. Z.*

When some brisk youth, the tenant of a stall, Employs a pen less pointed than his awl, Leaves his snug shop, forsakes his store of shoes, St. Crispin quits, and cobbles for the Muse, Heavens! how the vulgar stare ! how crowds applaud ! How ladies read! and Literati laud !

750

If chance some wicked wag should pass his jest,

'Tis sheer ill-nature ; don't the world know best? Genius must guide when wits admire the rhyme, And Capel Loffrt declares 'tis quite sublime.

* These are the signatures of various worthies who figure in the poetical departments of the newspapers.

+ CAPEL Lofft, Esq. the Mæcenas of shoemakers, and Prefacewriter-General to distressed versemen; a kind of gratis Accoucheur to those who wish to be delivered of rhyme, but do not know how to bring it forth.

Hear, then, ye happy sons of needless trade!
Swains! quit the plough, resign the useless spade :
Lo! Burns and BLOOMFIELD*, nay, a greater far,
GIFFORD was born beneath an adverse star,
Forsook the labours of a servile state,
Stemmed the rude storm, and triumphed over Fate: 760
Then why no more? if Phoebus smiled on you,
BLOOMFIELD! why not on brother Nathan too?
Him too the Mania, not the Muse, has seized;
Not inspiration, but a mind diseased :
And now no Boor can seek his last abode,
No common be enclosed without an ode.
Oh! since increased refinement deigns to smile

On Britain's sons and bless our genial Isle,

Let Poesy go forth, pervade the whole,
Alike the rustic, and mechanic soul:

770

* See NATHANIEL BLOOMFIELD's ode, elegy, or whatever he or any one else chooses to call it, on the enclosure of “ Honington Green,”

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »