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DEAR Col’nel, Cobham's and your country's

friend! You love a verse; take such as I can send.

A Frenchman comes, presents you with his boy, Bows and begins" This lad, Sir, is of Blois : “ Observe his shape how clean ! his locks how curl'd! “ My only son, I'd have him see the world : 6 “ His French is pure; his voice too-you shall hear.

Sir, he's your slave for twenty pound a year. “ Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease, « Your barber, cook, upholsterer; what you please : “ A perfect genius at an op'ra song

11 “ To say too much might do my honour wrong. « Take him with all his virtues, on my word ; « His whole ambition was to serve a lord. « But, Sir, to you with what would I not part? 15 “ Tho', faith, I fear't will break his mother's heart. “ Once (and but once) I caught him in a lie, “ And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry: « The fault he has I fairly shall reveal,

(Could you o'erlook but that) it is to steal.” 20

If, after this, you took the graceless lad,
Could you complain, my friend, he prov'd so bad?
Faith, in such case,


should prosecute,
I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit,
Who sent the thief that stole the cash away, 25
And punish'd him that put it in his way.

Consider then, and judge me in this light; I told you when I went I could not write; You said the same; and are you discontent With laws to which you gave your own assent? So Nay, worse, to ask for verse at such a time! D'ye think me good for nothing but to rhyme ? In Anna's wars a soldier poor

and old, Had dearly earn’d a little purse of gold : Tir'd with a tedious march, one luckless night 35 He slept, (poor dog !] and lost it to a doit. This put the man in such a desp'rate mind, Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd, Against the foe, himself, and all mankind, He leap'd the trenches, scald a castle-wall, 40 Tore down a standard, took the fort and all. Prodigious well !” his great commander cry'd; Gave him much praise, and some reward beside. Next pleas'd his Excellence a town to batter; [Its name I know not, and 'tis no great matter.) 45



“ Go on, my friend,” he cry'd, see yonder walls ! “ Advance and conquer! go where Glory calls ! « More honours, more rewards attend the brave.” Don't you remember what reply he “D'ye think me, noble Gen’ral! such a sot? 50 * Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat.”

Bred up at home, full early I begun To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' son : Besides, my father taught me from a lad The better art to know the good from bad; 55 [And little sure imported to remove, To hunt for truth in Maudlin's learn'd grove.] But knottier points, we knew not half so well, Depriv'd us soon of our paternal cell ; And certain laws, by suff'rers thought unjust, 60 Deny'd all posts of profit or of trust : Hopes after hopes of pious Papists fail'd, While mighty William's thund'ring arm prevail'd. For right hereditary tax'd and fin’d, He stuck to poverty with peace of mind ;

65 And me the Muses help to undergo it, Convict a Papist he, and I a poet. But [thanks to Homer] since I live and thrive, Indehted to no prince or peer alive, Sure I should want the care of ten Monroes, 70 Jf I would scribble rather than repose.

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Years foll'wing years steal something ev'ry day,
At last they steal us from ourselves away;
In one our frolics, one amusements end,
In one a mistress drops, in one a friend.

This subtle thief of life, this paltry time,
What will it leave me if it snatch my rhyme?
If ev'ry wheel of that unweary'd mill
That turn'd ten thousand verses now stands still?
But, after all, what would

have me do,

When out of twenty I can please not two?
When this Heroics only deigns to praise,
Sharp Satire that, and that Pindaric lays ?
One like the pheasant's wing, and one the leg ;
The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg: 85
Hard task to hit the palate of such guests,
When Oldfield loves what Dartineuf detests!

But grant I may relapse, for want of grace,
Again to rhyme, can London be the place?
Who there his Muse, or self, or soul, attends, 90
In crowds, and courts, law, bus'ness, feasts, and
My counsel sends to execute a deed ; [friends ?
A poet begs me I will hear him read.
In palace-yard at nine you'll find me there-
At ten, for certain, Sir, in Bloomsb’ry square 95
Before the Lords at twelve my cause comes on-
There's a rehearsal, Sir, exact at one.

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« Oh! but a wit can study in the streets,
« And raise his mind above the mob he meets,"
Not quite so well, however, as one ought; 100
A hackney-coach may chance to spoil a thought;
And then a nodding beam, or pig of lead,
God knows, may hurt the very ablest head.
Have you not seen, at Guildhall's narrow pass,
Two aldermen dispute it with an ass ?

And peers give way, exalted as they are,
Ev'n to their own s-r-V--nce in a car?

Go, lofty poet! and in such a crowd
Sing thy sonorious verse—but not aloud.
Alas! to grottos and to groves we run,

To ease and silence ev'ry Muse's son:
Blackmore himself, for any grand effort,
Would drink and dose at Tooting or Earl's court.
How shall I rhyme in this eternal roar?

114 How match the bards whom none e'er match'd before?

The man who, stretch'd in Isis' calm retreat,
To books and study gives sev’n years complete,
See! strow'd with learned dust, his nightcap on,
He walks an object new beneath the sun! 119
The boys flock round him, and the people stare :
So stiff, so mute! some statue you would swear
Stept from its pedestal to take the air !

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