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There were all the worst play-wrights from Dibdin to
All grinning, as who should "Shan't we be merry?"
With men of light comedy lumb'ring like bears up,
And Colman, they say, fairly mutter'd "Damnation !"
The God fell a laughing to see his mistake, But stopp'd with a sigh for poor Comedy's sake; Then gave mine host orders, who bow'd to the floor, And had scarcely back'd out, and shut gently the door, When a hemming was heard, consequential and snapping, And a sour little gentleman walk'd with a rap
He bow'd, look'd about him, seem'd cold, and sat down,
"And pray, my frank visitor, who may you be?"
"Who be?" cried the other; "why really-this toneWilliam Gifford's a name, I think, pretty well known!" "Oh-now I remember," said Phoebus ;-"ah trueThe Anti-La Cruscan that writes the review :The rod, though 'twas no such vast matter, that fell On that plague of the butterflies,-did very well; *
* Mr. Gifford, in a satire called the Baviad and Mæviad, killed before their time an ephemeral race of poetasters, generated by
And there's something, which even distaste must respect,
In the self-taught example, that conquer'd neglect:
But not to insist on the recommendations
Of modesty, wit, and a small stock of patience,
My visit just now is to poets alone,
And not to small critics, however well known."
But glad look'd the God at the next who appear'd, For 'twas Campbell, by Poland's pale blessing endear'd; And Montgom'ry was with him, a freeman as true, (Heav'n loves the ideal, which practises too);
the affected fancy of Mr. Merry, a gentleman who signed himself Della Crusca, from the academy of that name, of which he was a member. Mr. Gifford, whose perceptions were all of the commonplace order, had a good common-place judgment, which served him well enough to expose errors discernible by most people. He only betrayed his own ignorance and presumption, when he came to speak of such a poet as Mr. Keats.
And him follow'd Rogers, whose laurel tree shows
And Byron, with eager indifference; and Moore
With admiring glad eyes, that came leaping before;
And Keats, with young tresses and thoughts, like the
And Shelley, a sprite from his farthest abodes;
Phoebus gave him commissions from Marlowe and
And Landor, whom two Latin poets sent bay to,
Came Southey, who rightly thinks court-odes beneath
And Coleridge, fine dreamer, with lutes in his rhyme;
And Wordsworth, the Prince of the Bards of his Time.
"And now,” said the God,—but he scarcely had spoken, When bang went the door--you'd have thought it was
And in rush'd a mob with a scuffle and squeeze,
Exclaiming, "What! Wordsworth, and fellows like
Nay then, we may all take our seats as we please!"
Nay, some took their snuff out, and join'd in a pinch.
Then wrath seiz'd Apollo; and turning again, "Ye rabble," he cried, "common-minded and vain,