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Puts lands, and tenements, and stocks,
Into a paltry juggler's box;
And, like an alderman of Gotham,
Embarketh in so vile a bottom;
Engages blind and senseless hap
'Gainst high, and low, and flur, and knap
(As Tartars with a man of straw
Encounter lions hand to paw);
With those that never venture more
Than they had safely' insur'd before ;
Who, when they knock the box, and shake,
Do, like the Indian rattle-snake,
But strive to ruin and destroy
Those that mistake it for fair play ;
That have their fulhams at com mand,
Brought up to do their feats at hand;
That understand their calls and knocks,
And how to place themselves i' th' box ;
Can tell the odd fes of all games,
And when to answer to their names;
And, when he conjures them t appear,
Like imps, are ready every where;
When to play foul, and when run fair
(Out of design) upon the square,
And let the greedy cully win,
Only to draw him further in ;
While those with which he idly plays
Have no regard to what he says,
Although he jernie and blafpheme,
When they miscarry, heaven and them,
And damn his soul, and swear, and curse,
And crucify his Saviour worse
Than those Jew-troopers that threw out,
When they were raffing for his coat;
Denounce revenge, as if they heard,
And rightly understood and feard,
And would take heed another time,
How to commit fo bold a crime ;
When the poor bones are innocent
Of all he did, or said, or meant,
And have as little sense, almost,
As he that damns them when he 'as lost;
As if he had rely'd upon
Their judgment rather than his own ;
And that it were their fault, not his,
That manag'd them himself amiss,
And gave them ill instructions how
To run, as he would have them do,
And then condemns them fillily
For having no more wit than he?
GREAT famous wit! whose rich and easy vein,
Free, and unus'd to drudgery and pain,
Has all Apollo's treasure at command,
And how good verse is coin'd do'st understand j
In all Wit's combats master of defence!
5 Tell me, how dost thou pass on rhyme and sense ? 'Tis said they' apply to thee, and in thy verse Do freely range themselves as volunteers, And without pain, or pumping for a word, Place themselves fitly of their own accord.
, whom a loud caprich (för fome great crime
I have committed) has condemn’d to rhyme,
With llavish obstinacy vex my brain
To reconcile them, but, alas ! in vain.
Sometimes I set my wits upon the rack,
And, when I would say white, the verse says black ;.
When I would draw a brave man to the life,
It names fome Nave that pimps to his own wife,
Or base poltroon, that would have sold his daughter,
If he had met with any to have bought her
When I would praise an author, the untoward
Damn'd sense, says Virgil, but the rhyme
In fine, whate'er I strive to bring about,
The contrary (spite of my heart) comes out,
Sometimes, enrag'd for time and pains mispent, 25
I give it over, tir'd, and discontent,
And, damning the dull fiend a thousand times,
By whom I was possess’d, forswear all rhymes ;
But, having curs’d the Muses, they appear,
To be reveng'd for 't, ere I am aware..
Spite of myself, I ftrait take fire again,
Fall to my talk with paper, ink, and pen,
And, breaking all the oaths I made, in vain.
From verse to verse expect their aid again.
But, if my Muse or I were so discreet
Ty endure, for rhyme's Sake, one dull epithet,,
I might, like others, easily command
Words without study, ready and at hand..
In praising Chloris, moons, and stars, and skies,
Are quickly inade to match her face and eyes -
And gold and rubies, with as little care,
To fit the colour of her lips and hair ;
And, mixing suns, and flowers, and pearl, and stones,
Make them serve all complexions at once.
Ver. 22.] Damn'd sense, says Virgil, but the rhyme -
This blank, and another at the clue of the r'oem, the
Author evidently chose should be supplied by the rea-
der. It is not my business, therefore, to deprive him :
of that satisfaction.
With these fine fancies, at hap-hazard writ, 45
I could make verses without art or wit,
And, shifting forty times the verb and noun,
With stol'n impertinence patch up mine own :
But in the choice of words my scrupulous wit
Is fearful to pass one that is unfit ;.
Nor can endure to fill up a void place,
At a line's end, with one insipid phrase ;
And, therefore, when I foribble twenty times,
When I have written four, I blot two rhymes.
May he be damnd who first found out that curse, 55
T'imprison and confine his thoughts in verse ;
To hang so dull a clog upon his wit,
And make his reason to his rhyme submit !
Without this plague, I freely might have spent
My happy days with leisure and content;
Had nothing in the world to do or think,
Like a fat priest, but whore, and eat, and drinks
Had past my time as pleasantly away,
Slept all the night, and loiter'd all the day.
My soul, that 's free from care, and fear, and hope, 63
Knows how to make her own ambition ftoop,
T'avoid uneasy greatness and resort,
Or for preferment following the Court.
How happy had I been if, for a curse,
The Fates had never fentenc'd me to verse !
70 But, ever since this peremptory vein, With restless frenzy, first possess'd my brain, And that the devil tempted me, in spite Of my own happiness, to judge and write,