Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON SAMUEL ROGERS, by GEORGE GORDON BYRON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ON SAMUEL ROGERS, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Nose and chin would shame a knocker
Last Line: Once he wrote a pretty poem.
Alternate Author Name(s): Byron, Lord; Byron, 6th Baron
Subject(s): Rogers, Samuel (1763-1855)



NOSE and chin would shame a knocker;
Wrinkles that would puzzle Cocker;
Mouth which marks the envious scorner,
With a scorpion in each corner,
Turning its quick tail to sting you
In the place that most may wring you;
Eyes of lead-like hue, and gummy;
Carcass pick'd out from some mummy;
Bowels (but they were forgotten,
Save the liver, and that's rotten);
Skin all sallow, flesh all sodden, --
Form the devil would frighten God in.
Is 't a corpse stuck up for show,
Galvanised at times to go?
With the Scripture in connection,
New proof of the resurrection?
Vampire, ghost, or goul, what is it?
I would walk ten miles to miss it.


Many passengers arrest one,
To demand the same free question.
Shorter's my reply, and franker, --
That's the Bard, the Beau, the Banker.
Yet if you could bring about
Just to turn him inside out,
Satan's self would seem less sooty,
And his present aspect -- Beauty.
Mark that (as he masks the bilious
Air, so softly supercilious)
Chasten'd bow, and mock humility,
Almost sicken to servility;
Hear his tone (which is to talking
That which creeping is to walking,
Now on all-fours, now on tip-toe);
Hear the tales he lends his lip to;
Little hints of heavy scandals;
Every friend in turn he handles;
All which women or which men do,
Glides forth in an innuendo,
Clothed in odds and ends of humour --
Herald of each paltry rumour,
From divorces down to dresses,
Women's frailties, men's excesses,
All which life presents of evil
Make for him a constant revel.
You're his foe, for that he fears you,
And in absence blasts and sears you:
You're his friend -- for that he hates you,
First caresses, and then baits you --
Darting on the opportunity
When to do it with impunity:
You are neither -- then he'll flatter,
Till he finds some trait for satire;
Hunts your weak point out, then shows it
Where it injures to disclose it,
In the mode that's most invidious,
Adding every trait that's hideous --
From the bile, whose blackening river
Rushes through his Stygian liver.
Then he thinks himself a lover --
Why? I really can't discover,
In his mind, age, face, or figure;
Viper-broth might give him vigour, --
Let him keep the cauldron steady,
He the venom has already.
For his faults -- he has but one, --
'T is but envy, when all's done.
He but pays the pain he suffers,
Clipping, like a pair of snuffers,
Lights which ought to burn the brighter
For this temporary blighter.
He's the cancer of his species,
And will eat himself to pieces, --
Plague personified, and famine, --
Devil, whose sole delight is damning.

For his merits, would you know 'em?
Once he wrote a pretty Poem.

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