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FRANCIS JEFFREY, ESQUIRE,
LORD RECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW,
LATE ONE OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE SPECULATIVE,
AND EDITOR of the edinBURGH REVIEW,
YOUR days, Mr Jeffrey, how gaily they sped,
When the Prosers were with you, whatever you said,
Taunting Burke with your eloquence, Swift with your jest,
While the chorus was Constable's chink in your chest!
But opinions stride on, while things linger behind-
What of old pass'd for thunder, now weighs but as wind;
And you, a great man as could possibly be,
Stand diminish'd to modest dimensions by ME.
I am sure, like one waked from a dream, you look back
To the days when you hoisted your flag of attack;
When against THE OLD FORTRESS you open'd your trenches,
With a jig, as the mode of your masters the French is;
While one PRIEST whistled on with the note of Voltaire,
And the smile of another recalled D'Alembert,
And you seemed A Great Man as could possibly be,
Never dreaming of damnable dampers from ME.
You all seem'd so giddy, so gamesome, so gay,
Paine and Hell shouted "Go it, we're sure of the day."-
Such a confident crowing contemptuous air,
Fill'd the hearts of a thousand good fools with despair;
While there wanted not some of our old pluckless tories,
Who like spoonies would fawn and talk big of your glories,
Calling you a great Man as could possibly be ;-
-Lacking heart even to hope for a hero like ME.
How the fine yellow's dimm'd in its delicate hue!
What a stain has been stamp'd on the beautiful blue!
How each frolicsome face that enliven'd Craig-Crook
Has been changed for a down-looking, dumpish, sour look!
O the heart that of old could like quick-silver bound,
How it sinks! I am sure it weighs more than a pound !
O the biggest small Man that could possibly be,
How he casts up his whites when he thinks upon ME!
Geese, their nature is such, cackle loud in one's pond,
But just whistle, and phoo! in a funk they abscond;
Byron christen'd five geese after five worthy souls,
Ugo Fudgiolo, Sheil, Proctor, Maturin, Knowles ;-
But if I had pond-pets, I'm more wise, I should call 'em
After such folks as Macintosh, Brougham, Smith, and Hallam-
Not forgetting one smart little cackler-to be
(When its wings were well clipt) yclep't JEFFREY by ME.
Now, you'll scarcely believe it, for all that's been done,
I had never a harsh thought about you-not one.
For the sake of my Country, my Faith, and my King,
I was forced a few rockets among you to fling;
But even then what I did, if aright understood,
Was not meant for your ill, but your serious good;
And, if you're the least man that can possibly be,
You should thank yourself for it-much rather than ME.
I protest I'm half sorry to see you so low
You that were such fine frisky, brisk boys long ago;
You may think as you please, but you'll make me quite sad,
If you all keep so moping while we are so mad!
Mr Jeffrey, cheer up! you're a nice little fellow,
Notwithstanding the sins of your Azure-and-Yellow;
Though you're not the first Wit that can possibly be,
You're a clever old body-there's butter from ME.
Were I forced by some dread demoniacal hand,
To change heads (what a fate!) with some Whig in the land, I don't know but I'd swap with yourself, my old Gander, (I should then be Diogenes-not Alexander !)
But to shew my good will in a manner more solemn,
I inscribe to your name (Jump for joy!) this whole VOLUME.
Being always your servant, your friend, and so forth-
The humanest of conquerors-
17, PRINCE'S-STREET, Edinburgh,
31st December, 1821.