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Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering teach the rest to sneer ;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike;
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike resery'd to blame, or to commend ;

A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading ev'n fools; by flatterers besieg'd,
And so obliging that he ne'er oblig'd ;
Like Cato give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause;

210 While wits and Templars ev'ry sentence raise, And wonder with a foolish face of praise Who but must laugh if such a man there be ! Who would not weep if Atticus were he !

What tho' my name stood rubric on the walls 215 Or plaster'd posts, with claps in capitals ? Or smoaking forth, a hundred hawkers' load, On wings of winds came flying all abroad? I sought no homage from the race that write ; I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight : 220 Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long) No more than thou, great George ! a birthday song ; I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days, To spread about the itch of verse and praise ; Nor like a puppy daggled thro' the Town 225 To fetch and carry sing-song up and down ;

Vol. V.



Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd and cry'd,
With handkerchiefs and



side e ; But sick of fops, and poetry, and prate, To Bufo left the whole Castalian state.

230 Proud as Apollo on his forked hill Sat full-blown Bufo, puff’d by ev'ry quill; Fed with soft dedication all day long, Horace and he went hand in hand in song, His library (where busts of poets dead

235 And a true Pindar stood without a head) Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race, Who first his judgment ask’d, and then a place : Much they extoll’d his pictures, much his seat, And flatter'd ev'ry day, and some days ate ; 240 Till grown more frugal in his riper days, He paid soine bards with port, and some with praise; To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd, And others (harder still) he paid in kind. Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh; 245 Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye: But still the great have kindness in reserve, He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve.

May some choice patron bless each gray-goose quill! May ev'ry Bavius have his Buto still !

250 So a stat man wants a day's defence, Or Envy holds a whole week’s war with Sense,

Or simple Pride for flatt'ry makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands !
Bless'd be the great! for these they take away, 255
And those they left me -for they left me Gay ;
Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb:
Of all thy blameless life the sole return
My verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn! 260

0! let me live my own, and die so too ! (To live and die is all I have to do ;) Maintain a poet's dignity and ease, And see what friends, and read what books, I please; Above a patron, tho’I condescend

265 Sometimes to call a minister


I was not born for courts or great affairs ;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray’rs ;
Can sleep without a poem in my head,
Nor know if Dennis be alive or dead.

270 Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? Heav'ns! was I born for nothing but to write ? Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave) Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save ? 274 « I found him close with Swift” __“ Indeed? no doubt (Cries prating Balbus) “ something will come out.” 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will ; “ No, such a genius never can lie still ;"

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And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes. 280
Poor guiltless I! and can I chuse but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my Style?

Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,

285 Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear! But he who hurts a harmlesss neighbour's peace, Insults fall’n worth, or beauty in distress, Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about, Who writes a libel, or who copies out ;

290 That fop whose pride affects a patron's name, Yet absent wounds an author's honest fame; Who can your merit silently approve, And show the sense of it without the love ; Who has the vanity to call you Friend,

295 Yet wants the honour, injur’d, to defend ; Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say, And if he lie not must at least betray; Who to the Dean and silver bell can swear, And sees at Canons what was never there; 300 Who reads, but with a lust to misapply, Makes satire a lampoon, and fiction lie; A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead.

Let Sporus tremble-A. What? that thing of silk, Sporus! that mere white curd of asses' milk? 306 Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel ! Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings; 310 Whose buzz the witty and the fair'annoys, Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys : So well-bred spaniels civilly delight In muinbling of the game they dare not bite. Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,

As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
And as the prompter breathes the puppet squeaks,
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, 320
In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies;
His wit all see-saw between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.

Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head or the corrupted heart;
Fop at the toilette, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus, the Rabbins have exprest,

330 A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest ;


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