(The). A merciless satire by Gifford on the Della Cruscan poetry, published 1794. The word is from Virgil's Eclogue, iii. 9.
He may with foxes plough, and milk he-goats, Who praises Bavins or on Mævius dotes.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894