JOHN SHEFFIELD, EARL OF MULGRAVE, a) from An Essay upon Satire 1679
And his own kicking notably contriv’d? For there’s the folly that’s still mix’d with fear: Cowards more blows than any hero bear.
Of fighting sparks some may their pleasure say, But ’tis a bolder thing to run away. The world may well forgive him all his ill, For ev’ry fault does prove his penance still; Falsely he falls into some dang’rous noose, And then as meanly labors to get loose; A life so infamous it’s better quitting, Spent in base injuring and low submitting. I’d like to have left out his poetry, Forgot almost by all as well as me: Sometimes he hath some humor, never wit,2
And if it ever (very rarely) hit, ’Tis under so much nasty rubbish laid, To find it out’s the cinder-woman’s trade, Who for the wretched remnants of a fire, Must toil all day in ashes and in mire. So lewdly dull his idle works appear, The wretched text deserves no comment here, There one poor thought’s sometimes left all alone For a whole page of dulness to atone. ’Mongst forty bad’s one tolerable line, Without expression, fancy, or design.