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OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE

THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.

MUSE, 'tis enough at length thy labour ends, And thou shalt live for Buckingham commends. Let crowds of critics now my verse assail, Let Dennis write, and nameless numbers rail ; This more than pays whole years of thankless pain, Time, health, and fortune, are not lost in vain. Sheffield approves, consenting Phæbus bends, And I and Malice from this hour are friends. 8

TO A PLAY FOR MR. DENNIS'S BENEFIT, IN

1733, WHEN HE WAS OLD, BLIND, AND

IN GREAT DISTRESS, A LITTLE

BEFORE HIS DEATH.

AS when that hero, who, in each campaign,
Had brav'd the Goth, and many a Vandal slain,
Lay Fortune-struck, a spectacle of woe!
Wept by each friend, forgiv'n by ev'ry foe;
Was there a gen'rous, a reflecting mind,

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But pity'd Belisarius, old and blind?
Was there a chief but melted at the sight?
A common soldier but who clubb'd his mite?
Such, such emotions should in Britons rise, 10
When press'd by want and weakness Dennis lies;
Dennis! who long had warr'd with modern Huns,
Their quibbles routed, and defy'd their puns;
A desp'rate bulwark, sturdy, firm, and fierce,
Against the Gothic sons of frozen verse :
How chang'd from him who made the boxes groan,
And shook the stage with thunders all his own! 16
Stood up to dash each vain pretender's hope,
Maul the French tyrant, or pull down the Pope !

If there's a Briton then, true bred and born,
Who holds dragoons and wooden shoes in scorn; 20
If there's a critic of distinguish'd rage,
If there's a senior who contemns this age,
Let him to-night his just assistance lend,
And be the critic's, Briton's, old man's, friend. 24

A CHARACTER,

WHEN simple Macer, now of high renown, First sought a poet's fortune in the Town, 'Twas all th' ambition his high soul could feel To wear red stockings, and to dine with Steele : Some ends of verse his betters might afford, And gave the harmless fellow a good word. Set up with these he ventur'd on the Town, And with a borrow'd play outdid poor Crown. There he stopp'd short, nor since has writ a tittle, But has the wit to make the most of little ; 10 Like stunted hide-bound trees, that just have got Sufficient sap at once to bear and rot. Now he begs verse, and what he gets commends, Not of the wits his foes, but fools his friends.

So some coarse country-wench, almost decay'd, 15 Trudges to Town, and first turns chambermaid ; Awkward and supple each devoir to pay, She flatters her good lady twice a-day ; Thought wond'rous honest, tho’ of mean degree, And strangely lik’d for her simplicity :

20 In a translated suit then tries the Town, With borrow'd pins, and patches not her own ;

But just endur'd the winter she began,
And in four months a batter'd harridan:
Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk,
To bawd for others, and go shares with punk.

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