Writ on a Blank Leaf of an Obscene Poem by Aaron Hill

The sacred Nine first spread their golden wings,
In praise of virtue, heroes, and of kings:
Chaste were their lays, and every verse design’d
To soften nature, and exalt the mind.
Loosely the moderns live, and loosely write,
And woo their muse, as mistress, for delight.
Thick in their lays obscenities abound,
As weeds spring plenteous in the rankest ground:
All who write verse, to taint a guiltless heart,
Are vile profaners of the sacred art.
Cloy’d, the sick reader from the work retires,
And ere the writer dies, his fame expires.

From: Hill, Aaron, Cawthorn, James and Bruce, Michael, The British Poets. Including Translations. In One Hundred Volumes. Volume LX. The Poems of Hill, Cawthorn, and Bruce, 1822, C. Whittingham: London, p. 33.

Date: 1753 (published)

By: Aaron Hill (1685-1750)


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