John Quincy Adams to William Cranch
Cambridge Augt: 20th. 1786
You are, though living in a garret
No more a Poet, than a Parrot
At first you take a doggrel verse,
And, alexandrine then rehearse.
You hobble on, or wrong or right
With sometimes ten and sometimes eight.
By your own syllogistic rule
You must confess yourself a fool.
and if Bob Longer lacks of wit
He that is shorter must have it.
Besides I see you’ve chang’d your name
Because the first brought you to shame
And must certainly be wrong
Who now is short, and now is long.
RC (Privately owned); addressed: “Mr: Bob Longer. In the paradise of fools.”
1. Probably an abbreviation for “Robert Shorter” (that is, Bob Shorter), a comment on JQA’s and Cranch’s relative heights.