Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Though plagu'd with algebraic lectures,
And astronomical conjectures,
Wean'd from the sweets of poetry
To scraps of dry philosophy,
You see, dear Sir, I've found a time
T’express my thoughts to you in rhyme.
For why, my friend, shou'd distant parts,
Or times, disjoin united hearts,
Since though by intervening space
Depriv'd of speaking face to face,
By faithful emissary letter
We

may converse as well, or better?
And not to stretch a narrow fancy,
To shew what pretty things I can say,
(As some will strain at simile,
First work it fine, and then apply ;
Tag Butler's rhymes to Prior's thoughts,
And choose to mimic all their faults,
By head and shoulders bring in a stick,
To shew their knack at hudibrastic,)
I'll tell you as a friend, and crony,
How here I spend my time, and money;
For time, and money, go together
As sure as weathercock, and weather ;

And thrifty guardians all allow
This grave reflection to be true,
That whilst we pay so dear for learning
Those weighty truths we've no concern in,
The spark who squanders time away
In vain pursuits, and fruitless play,
Not only proves an arrant blockhead,
But, what's much worse, is out of pocket.
Whether my conduct bad, or good is,
Judge from the nature of

my

studies.

No more majestic Virgil's heights, Nor tow'ring Milton's loftier flights, Nor courtly Flaccus's rebukes, Who banters vice with friendly jokes, Nor Congreve's life, nor Cowley's fire, Nor all the beauties that conspire To place the greenest bays upon Th’immortal brow of Addison ; Prior's inimitable ease, Nor Pope's harmonious numbers please ; Homer, indeed (for critics shew it) Was both philosopher and poet, But tedious philosophic chapters, Quite stifle my poetic raptures, And I to Phæbus bade adieu When first I took my leave of you. . Now algebra, geometry, Arithmetic, astronomy,

Optics, chronology, and statics,
All tiresome parts of mathematics;
With twenty harder names than these,
Disturb my brain, and break my peace.
All seeming inconsistencies
Are nicely solv'd by a's and b's ;
Our eye-sight is disprov'd by prisms,
Our arguments by syllogisms.
If I should confidently write
This ink is black, this paper white, ,
Or, to express myself yet fuller,
Should say that black, or white's a colour;
They'd contradict it, and perplex one
With motion, rays, and their reflexion,
And solve th' apparent falshood by
The curious texture of the eye.
Should I the poker want, and take it,
When't looks as hot as fire can make it,
And burn my finger, and my coat,
They'd flatly tell me, 'tis not hot ;
The fire, say they, has in't, 'tis true,
The pow'r of causing heat in you;
But no more heat's in fire that heats you,
Than there is pain in stick that beats you.

Thus too philosophers expound
The names of odour, taste, and sound;
The salts and juices of all meat
Affect the tongues of them that eat,

And by some secret poignant pow'r
Give them the taste of sweet, and sour.
Carnations, violets, and roses,
Cause a sensation in our noses ;
But then there's none of us can tell
The things themselves have taste or smell.
So when melodious Mason sings,
Or Gethring tunes the trembling strings,
Or when the trumpet's brisk alarms
Call forth the cheerful youth to arms,
Convey'd through undulating air
The music's only in the ear.

We're told how planets roll on high,
How large their orbits, and how nigh!
I hope in little time to know
Whether the moon's a cheese, or no;
Whether the man in't, as some tell ye,
With beef and carrots fills his belly ;
Why like a lunatic confin'd
He lives at distance from mankind;
When he, at one good hearty shake,
Might whirl the prison off his back;
Or, like a maggot in a nut,
Full bravely eat his passage out.
Who knows what vast discoveries
From such inquiries might arise ?
But feuds and tumults in the nation,
Disturb such curious speculation.

Cainbridge, from furious broils of state,
Foresces her near-approaching fate;
Her surest patrons are remov’d,
And her triumphant foes approv'd.

No more! this due to friendship take,
Not idly writ for writing's sake ;
No longer question my respect,
Nor call this short delay neglect;
At least excuse it, when you see
This pledge of my sincerity;
For one who rhymes to make you easy,
And his invention strains to please ye,
To shew his friendship cracks bis brains,
Sure is a mad-man if he feigns.

Dr. Littleton.

EPIGRAM

ON THE DUTCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE, In consequence of her Grace's canvass in support of

Mr. Fox.

$

Array'd in matchless beauty, Devon's fair,

In Fox's favour takes a zealous part:
But, oh! where'er the pilferer comes, beware!
She supplicates a vote, and steals a heart.

A Newspaper.

« PreviousContinue »