Canto The First


I Bob Southey! You're a poet--Poet-laureate, And representative of all the race; Although 'tis true that you turn'd out a Tory at Last,--yours has lately been a common case; And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at? With all the Lakers, in and out of place? A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye Like 'four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;

II 'Which pye being open'd they began to sing' (This old song and new simile holds good), 'A dainty dish to set before the King.' Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;-- And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing, But like a hawk encumber'd with his hood,-- Explaining metaphysics to the nation-- I which he would explain his Explanation.

III You, Bob! are rather insolent, you know, At being disappointed in your wish To supersede all warblers here below, And be the only Blackbird in the dish; And then you overstrain yourself, or so, And tumble downward like the flying fish Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob, And fall, for lack of moisture quite a-dry, Bob!

IV And Wordsworth, in a rather long 'Excursion' (I think the quarto holds five hundred pages), Has given a sample from the vasty version Of his new system to perplex the sages; 'Tis poetry--at least by his assertion, And may appear so when the dog-star rages-- And he who understands it would be able To add a story to