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And here, while Town, and Court, and City, roars, With mobs, and duns, and soldiers at their doors, Shall I in London act this idle part,
125 Composing songs for fools to get by heart?
The Temple late two brother Sergeants saw, Who deem'd each other oracles of law; With equal talents these congenial souls, One lull’d th’Exchequer, and one stunn'd the Rolls; Each had a gravity would make you split, 131 And shook his head at Murray as a wit. « 'T'was, Sir, your law”-and, “Sir, your eloquence:" “ Your's Cowper's manner and your's Talbot's
Thus we dispose of all poetic merit, [sense.” Your's Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit. 136 Call Tibbald Shakespeare, and he'll swear the Nine, Dear Cibber! never match'd one ode of thine. Lord! how we strut thro' Merlin's cave, to see No poets there but Stephen, you, and me. 140 Walk with respect behind, while we at ease Weave laurel crowns, and take what names we please. “ My dear Tibullus !” if that will not do, « Let me be Horace, and be Ovid you: “ Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains, 145 “ And yon shall rise up Otway for your pains." Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhyming race;
And much must flatter, if the whim should bite,
In vain bad rhymers all mankind reject,
Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine,
175 Then polish all with so much life and ease, You think 'tis Nature, and a knack to please : “ But ease in writing flows from art, not chance, “ As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance."
If such the plague and pains to write by rule, 180 Better ( say I) be pleas'd, and play the fool : Call, if you will, bad rhyming a disease, It gives men happiness, or leaves them ease. There liv'd in primo Georgii (they record) A worthy member, no small fool, a lord ; 185 Who, tho' the House was up, delightful sate, Heard, noted, answer'd, as in full debate : In all but this a man of sober life, Fond of his friend, and civil to his wife; Not quite a madman, tho' a pasty fell,
190 And much too wise to walk into a well. Him the damn'd doctors and his friends immur'd, They bled, they cupp'd, they purg'd ; in short, they Whereat the gentleman began to stare [cur'd:
My friends! [he cry'd] p-x take you for your care! That from a patriot of distinguish'd note 196 Have bled and purg'd me to a simple vote.”
Well, on the whole, plain prose must be my fate! Wisdom (curse on it!] will come soon or late.
There is a time when poets will grow dull ; 200
210 I ask these sober questions of my heart.
If, when the more you drink the more you crave, You tell the doctor; when the more you have The more you want, why not, with equal ease, Confess as well your folly as disease ?
215 The heart resolves this matter in a trice; “ Men only feel the smart, but not the vice."
When golden angels cease to cure the evil, You give all royal witchcraft to the devil: When servile chaplains cry that birth and place 220 Endue a peer with honour, truth, and grace, Look in that breast, most dirty Dean! be fair, Say, can you find out one such lodger there? Yet still, not heeding what your heart can teach, You go to church to hear these flatt'rers preach. 225
Indeed could wealth bestow or wit or merit,
If there be truth in law, and use can give 230
Heathcote himself, and such large-acred men, 240 Lords of fat E’sham, or of Lincoln-Fen, Buy ev'ry stick of wood that lends them heat, Buy ev'ry pullet they afford to eat. Yet these are wights who fondly call their own Half that the devil o'erlooks from Lincoln town. 245 The laws of God, as well as of the land, Abhor a perpetuity should stand: Estates have wings, and hang in Fortune's pow'r, Loose on the point of ev'ry wav'ring hour, Ready by force, or of your own accord,
250 By sale, at least by death, to change their lord.