George Canning

Blue and Buff

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Come, sportive Muse, with plume satiric,
Describe each lawless, bold empiric,
Who, with the Blue and Buffs' sad crew,
Now stripp'd in buff, shall look so blue.

First paint L---d H---w---k, boisterous, rough,
Dealer in wholesale quack'ry stuff,
Who, far beyond famed Katterfelt,
Prescribed what ne'er was seen or felt;
Left Law and Reason in the lurch,
To mould the Senate, twist the Church:
But wand'ring once from Downing street,
Great Buckingham's old dome to greet,
With grand Catholiconian pill,
Was lost--on Constitution-hill.

Next W---dh---m, metaphysic elf,
Who all things knows--except himself;
Three tedious hours who raves and talks
Of all that in his cranium stalks;
Whose regular ideas fear
Militia much, more Volunteer,
A wild inapplicable genius,
Scarce versed in policy's quæ genus;
In syntax yet more scantly read,
Without one concord in his head.

Now, Muse, direct the shaft of wit,
Where little P---tty apes great Pitt;
This year in woe-begone oration,
To Britons paints a bankrupt nation:
Resources all dilapidate,
Taxation at extremest fate;
Whilst next this little, great, small man,
Heigh! presto! pass! by one bold plan,
Restores you all to peace and plenty;
The deuce is in't! won't this content ye?
With necromantic rod of Moses
(A twig cut from a bush of roses),
To ease at once your ev'ry fear,
Turns bear to bull, and bull to bear.

Nor miss, dear Muse, to gild my tale,
The gallant E---rl of L---d---e,
Who late to Paris post was sent, to
Become the dupe of Benevento;
Hush'd to soft sleep like "Baby Bunting,"
Whilst Fap the Great went out "a-hunting."
Or was it, say, thou bonny chiel,
Thy ardent love for Britain's weal,
That led thy steps, a peep to take
At thy great territorial[1] stake;
The purchase of thine assignats,
Thy Corso-Gallican contrats:
At once th' opprobrium and solution,
Of all thy love for revolution.

The Muse recoils, as something shock'd her,
To charge with harm the harmless D---ct---r;
When, una voce, all allow,
He would do right--if he knew how.

But if, amongst this motely crew
One man of real parts we view:
With mind for highest station fit;
The colleague, friend, yet foe of Pitt;
He, to whose merits all men granted,
That Pitt's last list, one great name wanted;
He, who with every talent shone,
Except consistency alone;
"We smile, if such a man there be,
"But weep, if Grenville should be he."

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George Canning