Published Volume XXIV Nos. 1&2 2011

That great hulk of a man, Dr. Johnson,

Had many ills both of mind and body

As Boswell shows; in spite of melancholy

He could be merry, and simply bent on fun.

His opinions were bold, and I can tell you,

His authority was kingly, his generosity as well.

To his verbal sword Lord Chesterfield fell.

A writer writes better than he lives, it is true,

Nine years on his dictionary, what a noble feat!

Hester Thrale “betrayed” him; he loved her still.

God might punish her; he never will.

He had a stroke, got back on his feet,

Wrote Lives of the English Poets , a masterpiece.

Let this master of words lie in perpetual peace.