To "Love and Fame"

by John Cunningham

John Cunningham


Where is this author? — bid the wretch appear,
Let him come in, and wait for judgment — here.
This awful jury, all impatient, wait; —
Let him come in, I say, and meet his fate!
Strange, very strange, if such a piece succeeds!
(Punish the culprit for his vile misdeeds)
Know ye to-night, " that his presumptuous works,
Have turn'd good Christians into — Heathen Turks?
And if the genius an't corrected soon,
In his next trip, he'll mount us to the moon.

Methinks I hear him say — " For mercy's sake,
Hold your rash tongue — my Love and Fame's at stake;
When you behold me — diffident — distrest!
'Tis cruelty to make my woes a jest:
Well — if you will — but why should I distrust?
My judges are as merciful as just;
I know them well, have oft their friendship try'd,
And their protection is my boast — my pride! "

Hoping to please, he form'd this bustling plan;
Hoping to please! 'tis all the moderns can;
Faith! let him 'scape, let Love and Fame survive,
With your kind sanction keep his scenes alive;
Try to approve (applaud we will exempt)
Nor crush the bardling in this hard attempt.
Could he write up to an illustrious theme,
There's mark'd upon the register of Fame
A subject — but beyond the warmest lays!
Wonder must paint, when 'tis a Granby's praise.

Last updated September 05, 2017