poem – epitaph on thomas parnell

THIS tomb, inscrib’d to gentle Parnell’s name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly-moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure’s flowery way!
Celestial themes confess’d his tuneful aid;
And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow —
The transitory breath of fame below:
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While Converts thank their poet in the skies.

poem – epitaph on edward purdon

HERE lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
Who long was a bookseller’s hack;
He led such a damnable life in this world, —
I don’t think he’ll wish to come back.

poem – the poet laberius

WHAT! no way left to shun th’ inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress’d with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw’d by pow’r, and unappall’d by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear;
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more.
For ah! too partial to my life’s decline,
Caesar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin’d to please.
Here then at once, I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.

Poem – An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song; 

And if you find it wondrous short,

It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man

Of whom the world might say,

That still a godly race he ran— 

Whene’er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,

To comfort friends and foes; 

The naked every day he clad— 

When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,

As many dogs there be,

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,

And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends; 

But when a pique began,

The dog, to gain some private ends,

Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets

The wond’ring neighbours ran,

And swore the dog had lost its wits

To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad

To every Christian eye; 

And while they swore the dog was mad,

They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light

That showed the rogues they lied,— 

The man recovered of the bite,

The dog it was that died! 

Poem – An Epigram 

Worried with debts and past all hopes of bail,

His pen he prostitutes t’ avoid a gaol.


LET not the ‘hungry’ Bavius’ angry stroke

Awake resentment, or your rage provoke;

But pitying his distress, let virtue shine,

And giving each your bounty, ‘let him dine’;

For thus retain’d, as learned counsel can, 

Each case, however bad, he’ll new japan;

And by a quick transition, plainly show

‘Twas no defect of yours, but ‘pocket low’,

That caused his ‘putrid kennel’ to o’erflow. 

Poem – A New Simile 

LONG had I sought in vain to find

A likeness for the scribbling kind;

The modern scribbling kind, who write

In wit, and sense, and nature’s spite:

Till reading, I forget what day on, 

A chapter out of Tooke’s Pantheon,

I think I met with something there,

To suit my purpose to a hair;

But let us not proceed too furious,

First please to turn to god Mercurius; 

You’ll find him pictur’d at full length

In book the second, page the tenth:

The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,

And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat, 

Wings upon either side–mark that.

Well! what is it from thence we gather?

Why these denote a brain of feather.

A brain of feather! very right,

With wit that’s flighty, learning light; 

Such as to modern bard’s decreed:

A just comparison,–proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,

Wings grow again from both his shoes;

Design’d, no doubt, their part to bear, 

And waft his godship through the air;

And here my simile unites,

For in a modern poet’s flights,

I’m sure it may be justly said,

His feet are useful as his head. 
Lastly, vouchsafe t’observe his hand,

Filled with a snake-encircl’d wand;

By classic authors term’d caduceus,

And highly fam’d for several uses.

To wit–most wond’rously endu’d, 

No poppy water half so good;

For let folks only get a touch,

Its soporific virtue’s such,

Though ne’er so much awake before,

That quickly they begin to snore. 

Add too, what certain writers tell,

With this he drives men’s souls to hell.
Now to apply, begin we then;

His wand’s a modern author’s pen;

The serpents round about it twin’d 

Denote him of the reptile kind;

Denote the rage with which he writes,

His frothy slaver, venom’d bites;

An equal semblance still to keep,

Alike too both conduce to sleep. 

This diff’rence only, as the god

Drove souls to Tart’rus with his rod,

With his goosequill the scribbling elf,

Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript, 

Yet grant a word by way of postscript.

Moreover, Merc’ry had a failing:

Well! what of that? out with it–stealing;

In which all modern bards agree,

Being each as great a thief as he: 

But ev’n this deity’s existence

Shall lend my simile assistance.

Our modern bards! why what a pox

Are they but senseless stones and blocks?