Primary Resource

"To Atlas" by St. George Tucker (June 5, 1793)

In "To Atlas," published in the National Gazette in Philadelphia on June 5, 1793, St. George Tucker satires Alexander Hamilton, then the U.S. secretary of the treasury. Tucker's poem was the second in a series of fourteen poems known as "The Probationary Odes of Jonathan Pindar, Esq." that skewered Federalist politicians.

Transcription from Original

Jonathan, turned Speculator, in behalf of the whole corps addresseth their great benefactor and patron.

  • Ingreditor folo, et caput inter nubile condit,
  • Virg.
  • —Nunquam dimoveas!
  • Hor.
  • Whilst you, great Atlas! prop the State,
  • Nor totter underneath a weight,
  • That would a giant crush;
  • Let pigmy wights, in Congress Hall,
  • Set sparrow traps to work your fall,
  • Regard them not a rush!
  • A lion should a spaniel bay,
  • The king of beasts would keep his way
  • Nor heed the babbler's throat;
  • Then deign not, Atlas, to look down
  • Or punish with a single frown
  • The angry snarler's note.
  • Whilst on your paper throne you sit
  • With solid gold beneath your feet
  • Fear not a regicide!
  • Your faithful Janizaries all
  • Shall muster thick in Congress Hall
  • To guard their leader's side.
  • Go on, great chief, to make us all,
  • Not from your shoulders cast the ball,
  • Lest we, like worms, should drop,
  • Who on a golden pippin prey,
  • Till haply on some stormy day
  • 'Tis shaken from the top.