Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Description of Johnson (from The Ghost)
By Charles Churchill (1731–1764)
 
POMPOSO, insolent and loud,
Vain idol of a scribbling crowd,
Whose very name inspires an awe,
Whose every word is sense and law;
(For what his greatness hath decreed,        5
Like laws of Persia and of Mede,
Sacred through all the realm of Wit,
Must never of repeal admit)
Who, cursing flattery, is the tool
Of every fawning, flattering fool;        10
Who wit with jealous eye surveys,
And sickens at another’s praise:
Who, proudly seiz’d of learning’s throne,
Now damns all learning but his own:
Who scorns those common wares to trade in,        15
Reas’ning, convincing, and persuading,
But makes each sentence current pass
With ‘puppy,’ ‘coxcomb,’ ‘scoundrel,’ ‘ass’:
(For ’tis with him a certain rule
That folly ’s proved when he calls ‘Fool!’)        20
Who to increase his native strength
Draws words six syllables in length,
With which, assisted with a frown
By way of club, he knocks us down:
*        *        *        *        *
His comrades’ terrors to beguile,        25
Grinn’d horribly a ghastly smile:
Features so horrid, were it light,
Would put the devil himself to flight.
 
 
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