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Not that where some one merit is deny’d, Men must be every way unqualify’d ; – 10 Nor hold we, like that wrong-concluding wight, A man can't fish—because he could not write. View all the world around: each man design'd And furnish’d for some fav’rite part you find. . That, sometimes low : yet this, so small a gift, Proves nature did not turn him quite adrift. The phlegmatic, dull, aukward, thick, gross-witted, Have all some clumsy work for which they're fitted. 'Twas never known, in men a perfect void, Ev’n I and Tibbald might be well employ'd ; 30 Would we our poverty of parts survey, And follow as our genius led the way.

What then obedient to that turn of mind t
Should men jog on to one dull path confin'd;
From that small circle never dare depart,
To strike at large, and snatch a grace from art
At least with care forbidden paths pursue
Who quits the road, should keep it still in view :
From genius some few 'scapes may be allow’d ;

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But Cibber, faithless to his bias see, -o
With giant-sin opposing heav'n's decree.
Still fond where he should not, he blunders on
With all that haste fools make to be undone :
Want of success his passion but augments; "
Like eunuchs rage of love, from impotence. o

*Mongst all the instances of genius crost, A The rhyming tribe are those who err the most. //~4 Each piddling wretch who hath but common sense, Or thinks he hath, to verse shall make pretence; *e Ao Why not * 'tis their diversion, and 'twere hard T If men of their estates should be debarr'd. Thus wealth with them gives every thing beside: As people worth so much are qualify'd : They’ve all the requisites for writing fit, All but that one—some little share of wit. Give way, ye friends, nor with fond pray'rs proceed 2To stop the progress of a pen full speed. 'Tis heav'n, incens'd by some prodigious crime, er Thus for mens sins determines them to rhyme. 3. Bad men, no doubt; perhaps 'tis vengeance due For shrines they've plunder'd, or some wretch they

slew.

Whate'er it be, sure grievous is th’ offence,
And grievous is (heaven knows 1) its recompence.
At once in want of rhyme, and want of rest;
Plagues to themselves, and to mankind a jest:
Seduc’d by empty forms of false delight—
Such, in some men, their deadly lust to write

Ev’n I, whose genius seems as much forgot,
(Mine when I write, as your's when you do not ;), 2.
y --z'
Who gravely thus can others’ faults condemn,
Myself allowing, what I blame in them;
With no pretence to Phoebus' aid divine,
Nor the least int’rest in the tuneful Nine,

i

With all the guilt of impotence in view, ...
Griev'd for past sins, but yet committing new ; "
Whate'er the wits may say, or wise may think,
Am fooling every way with pen and ink. 4
When all who wish me best, begin t” advise,
• That being witty, is not being wise; Ya
• That if the voice of int’rest might be heard,
* For one who wears a gown, would be preferr’d’—
Incorrigibly deaf, I feign a yawn;
And mock their just conclusions, ere they're drawn.

If to my pračtice, they oppos'd my theme;
And pointed, how I swam against the stream:
With all the rancor of a bard in rage,
I’d quote 'em half the writers of the age;
Who in a wrath of verse, with all their might
Write on, howe'er unqualify’d to write.

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You ask me, Sir, why thus by phantoms aw’d,
No kind occasion tempts the Muse abroad
Why, when retirement sooths this idle art,
To fame regardless sleeps the youthful heart

'Twould wrong your judgment, should I fairly say Distrust or weakness caus’d the cold delay: Hint the small diff'rence, till we touch the lyre, 'Twixt real genius and too strong desire; The human slips, or seeming slips pretend, That rouze the critic, but escape the friend; zo Nay which, though dreadful when the foe pursues, You pass, and smile, and still provoke the Muse.

Yet, spite of all you think, or kindly feign, My hand will tremble while it grasps the pen. For not in this, like other arts, we try Our light excursions in a summer sky, No casual flights the dangerous trade admits, But wits, once authors, are for ever wits. The fool in prose, like earth's unwieldy son, May oft rise vig'rous, though he's oft o'erthrown; One dangerous crisis marks our rise or fall, o By all we're courted, or we’re shun'd by all.

Will it avail, that unmatur'd by years, My easy numbers pleas'd your partial ears, If now condemn'd, my riper lays must bear The wise man’s censure, and the vain man's sneer Or, still more hard, ev’n where he's valu'd most, The man must suffer, if the poet’s lost; For wanting wit, be totally undone, And barr'd all arts, for having fail'd in one. 32When fears like these his serious thoughts engage, No bugbear phantom curbs the poet’s rage; 'Tis powerful reason holds the streighten’d rein, While flutt’ring fancy to the distant plain Sends a long look, and spreads her wings in vain.

But grant, for once, th' officious Muse has shed Her gentlest influence on his infant head, Let fears lie vanquish'd, and resounding Fame Give to the bellowing blast the poet's name. And see distinguish'd from the crowd he moves,”

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