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The dog-star rages ! nay, 'tis past a donbt
What walls can guard me,or what shades can hide?
Is there a parson much be-mus'd in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk foredoom'd his father's sonl to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross ? Is there who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All fly, to Twit’oam, and in humble strain Apply to me to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause : Poor Cornus sees bis frantic wife elope, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (wbich did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What drop or nostrum can this plague remove? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love?. A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped; If foes, they write ; if friends, they read me dead. Seiz'd and tied down to judge, how wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not lie. To laugh were want of goodness and of grace, And to be grave exceeds all power of face.
I sit with sa'd civílity, I read
Nine years!' cries he, who, higb in Drury Lane,
Three things another's modest wishes bound; • My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.'
Pitholeon sends to me: “ You know his grace, I want a patron; ask him for a place. Pitholeon libelld me- But here's a letter Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Dare you refuse bim? Curll invites to dine; He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine.' Bless me! a packet.—'Tis a stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan Muse.' If I dislike it, . Furies, death, and rage! If I approve, Commend it to the stage.' There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. fit, Fir'd that the house rejects bim, “'Sdeath, I'll print And shame the fools----yourinterest, sir, with Liptót.' Lintot, dull rogue, will think your price too much: • Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch.' All my demurs but double his attacks ; At last he whispers, ' Do, and we go snacks.' Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door; • Sir, let me see your works and you no more.'
"Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king)
His very minister who spied them first
A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dangerous
You think this cruel? take it for a rule, No creature smarts so little as a fool. Let peals of laughter, Codrus, round thee break, Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack: Pit, box, and gallery, in convulsions hurl'd, Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world. Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through, Hė spins the slight self-pleasing thread anew : Destroy his fib, or sophistry, in vain; The creature's at his dirty work again, . Thron’d on the centre of bis thin designs, Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines ! Whom have I hurt? bas poet yet or peer Lost the arcb'd eyebrow or Parnassian sneer? And has not Colley still his lord and whore? His butchers Henley? his free-masons Moore? Does not one table Bavius still admit? Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit? [fend. Still Sappho-A. Hold ! for God's sake--you'll ofNo names--be calm-learn prudence of a friend : I too could write, and I am twice as tall; [all. But foes like these --P. One flatterer's worse than
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
There are who to my person pay their court I cough like Horace; and, though lean, am short; Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and · Sir! you have an eye ' Go on, obliging creatures ! make me see All that disgrac'd my betters met in me. Say, for my comfort, languishing in bed, • Jast so immortal Maro held his head:' And when I die, be sure yon let me know Great Homer died three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Dip'd me in ink, my parents', or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came : I left no calling for this idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobey'd: The Muse but sery'd to ease some friend, not wife, To help me through this long disease, my life, To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care, And teach the being you preserv'd to bear.
But why then publish ? Granville the polite, And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write; Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praise, And Congreve loy'd, and Swift endur'd, my lays;
The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield, read,
Soft were my numbers; who could take otfence
Did some more sober critic come abroad; If wrong I smil'd, if right I kiss'd the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense. Commas and points they set exactly right, And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mitc, Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds, From slashing Bentley down to piddling Tibalds : Each wight who reads not, and but scans and spells, Each word-catcher that lives on syllables, Ev’n such small critics some regard may claim, ! Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakspeare's name. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms Of bairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms! The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there. ..