BETA

To Thomas Campbell, Esq.

An Expostulatory Epistle occasioned by the following passage in his Specimens of English
Poetry.
Stevens celebrated hard drinking, because it was the fashion—and his songs are now
seldom vociferated, because that fashion is gone by.”
Specimens, Vol. VI. p. 437.
Sir, in your last work you the logic display1
Of Aldrich* or Burgerdick, Crousaz or Hamel,2
But I think that you err very much when you say,3
That the fashion of drinking is past, Mr Campbell.4
If fashion rejects jolly topers, ’ tis plain,5
That fashion’s an ignorant sort of a strammel ; †6
And a fashion so senseless, so dull, will remain7
But a short time in vigour, I think, Mr Campbell.8
In Ireland, I’m sure, many ages must roll9
Before with such rules our free spirits we trammel,10
Before the bright lights of the bottle and bowl11
Will cease o’er our tables to shine, Mr Campbell.12

* Four logicians. The first as honest a fellow as ever filled a pipe ; the other three
were mode and figure men.
† It is not worth while to print after the etymon of this word ; in Ireland it signifies
a sluttish awkward woman ; it is synonymous with the short word for female dog.
Come over among us, sweet bard, and I swear,13
That when home you return with a nose red as stammel, *14
You will never again be so prompt to declare,15
That the sons of gay Bacchus are dead, Mr Campbell.16
Then oh ! by that face which in prospect I view,17
All glowing and grand with its purple enamel,18
Retract your rash statement. So, Thomas, adieu,19
For my punch is just out and I’m †tir’d, Mr Campbell.20

* Reddish cloth, used by B. Jonson, Beaumont, and Fletcher, Sir W. Davenant, &c.
† Tired, according to Cobbett in one of his “ years residences in America,” is a quaker
word to express drunk. How true this is I know not ; but I supplicate the gentle reader
to take it here in its more usual sense.
‡ i.e. Post ten tumblers.