Let Satire Be My Song


Francis James Child, 1915 – *EC75.P9924.802v

Better to err with POPE, than shine with PYE.

Henry James Pye (1745-1813). Verses on Several Subjects (London, 1802).

Pye’s sycophantic verses in support of the Tory administration led to his appointment as poet laureate in 1790, an office he held without distinction for twenty-three years. Byron would lampoon him again in the Dedication (1819) and Canto V of Don Juan (1821) and in The Vision of Judgment (1821), an irreverent parody of Southey’s eulogy on George III: “What! What! / Pye come again? No more – no more of that!” exclaims the late monarch in heaven.