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Yes; thank my stars ! as early as I knew
This town, I had the sense to hate it too:
Yet here, as ev'n in hell, there must be still
One giant-vice, so excellently ill,
That all beside, one pities, not abhors;
As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.

I grant that poetry 's a crying sin;
It brought, no doubt, the excise and army in:
Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows

how; But that the cure is starving, all allow.

10 Yet like the papist's, is the poet's state; Poor and disarm'd, and hardly worth your hate!

Here a lean bard, whose wit could never give Himself a dinner, makes an actor live : The thief condemn’d, in law already dead, So prompts, and saves a rogue who cannot read. Thus, as the pipes of some carved organ move, The gilded puppets dance and mount above. Heaved by the breath, the inspiring bellows blow; The inspiring bellows lie and pant below.

One sings the fair; but songs no longer move ; No rat is rhymed to death, nor maid to love : In love's, in nature's spite, the siege they hold; And scorn the flesh, the devil, and all but gold.



And they who write to lords, rewards to get,
Are they not like singers at doors for meat?
And they who write, because all write, have still
That 'scuse for writing, and for writing ill.

But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw
Others wits' fruits, and in his ravenous maw
Rankly digested, doth these things out-spue,
As his own things; and they're his own, 'tis true ;
For if one eat my meat, though it be known
The meat was mine, the excrement's his own.
But these do me no harm, nor they which use,

to out-usure Jews, To outdrink the sea, to outswear the Letanie, Who with sins all kinds as familiar be As confessors, and for whose sinful sake Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make ; Whose strange sins canonists could hardly tell In which commandment's large receit they dwell.

But these punish themselves. The insolence Of Coscus, only, breeds my just offence, Whom time (which rots all, and makes botches

* * *

And plodding on, must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a lawyer; which, alas! of late ;
But scarce a poet: jollier of this state,
Than are new-beneficed ministers, he throws,
Like nets or lime-twigs, wheresoe'er he goes,
His title of barrister on every wench,
And woos in language of the Pleas and Bench.


These write to lords, some mean reward to get,
As needy beggars sing at doors for meat; 26
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.

Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others' wit:
'Tis changed, no doubt, from what it was before ;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more :
Sense, pass'd through him, no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.

o'er all those confessors and martyrs 35 Who live like $—t—n, or who die like Chartres, Out-cant old Esdras, or out-drink his heir, Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear; Wicked as pages, who in early years Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears. Ev’n those I pardon, for whose sinful sake 41 Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make; Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell In what commandment's large contents they

dwell. One, one man only breeds my just offence; Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave im

Time, that at last matures a clap to ***,
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an attorney of an ass.

No young divine new beneficed, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive than he.
What farther could I wish the fop to do,
But turn a wit, and scribble verses too;





Words, words which would tear The tender labyrinth of a maid's soft ear: More, more than ten Sclavonians scolding, more Than when winds in our ruin'd abbyes roar. Then sick with poetry, and possest with Muse Thou wast, and mad I hoped; but men which chuse Law practice for mere gain; bold soul repute Worse than imbrothel'd strumpets prostitute. Now like an owl-like watchman he must walk, His hand still at a bill; now he must talk Idly, like prisoners, which whole months will

swear, That only suretyship hath brought them there; And to every suitor lie in every thing, Like a king's favorite-or like a king. Like a wedge in a block, wring to the barre, Bearing like asses, and more shameless farre Than carted whores, lie to the grave judge; for Bastardy abounds not in the king's titles, nor Simony and sodomy in churchmen's lives, As these things do in him; by these he thrives. Shortly, as the sea, he 'll compass all the land From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand:


Pierce the soft labyrinth of a lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts,
Like nets or lime-twigs, for rich widows' hearts ;
Call himself barrister to every wench,
And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench ? 60
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold,
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.

Cursed be the wretch, so venal and so vain :
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
'Tis such a bounty as was never known,
If Peter deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies !
And what a solemn face, if he denies !
Grave, as when prisoners shake the head, and



'Twas only suretyship that brought them there. 70
His office keeps your parchment fates intire;
He starves with cold to save them from the fire;

you he walks the streets through rain or dust, For not in chariots Peter puts his trust; For you

he sweats and labors at the laws; 75 Takes God to witness he affects your cause; And lies to every lord, in every thing, Like a king's favorite—or like a king. These are the talents that adorn them all, From wicked Waters ev'n to godly Hall. 80 Not more of simony beneath black gowns, Not more of bastardy in heirs to crowns. In shillings and in pence at first they deal; And steal so little, few perceive they steal; Till, like the sea, they compass all the land, From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand:


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