Friday, February 23, 2007

Epigrams on Poets

I picked up a book of epigrams and epitaphs at a second-hand bookshop. There is a lot of good stuff in it. Here are four short verses on poets:

On Peter Robinson

Here lies the preacher, judge, and poet, Peter
Who broke the laws of God, and man, and metre.

- Francis, Lord Jeffrey

On a Certain Poet

Pride in his pity, artifice his praise
A mask his virtue, and his fame a blaze;
Insult his charity, his friendship fear,
And nothing but his vanity, sincere.

- Anonymous (!)

Epigram

Yes, every poet is a fool:
By demonstration Ned can show it:
Happy, could Ned’s inverted rule
Prove every fool to be a poet.

- Svévole de Sainte-Marthe

Response

Sir, I admit your general rule
That every poet is a fool:
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

- Alexander Pope

(nice one, Mr. Pope!)

4 comments:

Decidedly Bookish said...

Hehe, I like those.

apprentice said...

That was a great find. The certain poet one is savage!

I still like Spike Milligan's own one, "I told you I was ill!"

Sorlil said...

I liked the first one!

G said...

I think the last one is my favorite, but they're all fun.