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.