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I 100 could write, and I am twice as tall;
Were others angry: I excusd them too ; :" But foes like these--P. One flatterer's worse than all. Well might they rage, I gave them but their due. Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right, A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find ; It is the slaver kills, and not the bite.
But each man's secret standard in his mind, A fool quite angry is quite innocent:
That casting-weight pride adds to emptiness, Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent. This, who can gratify? for who can guess ? One dedicates in high heroic prose,
The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown, And ridicules beyond a hundred foes ;
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown, One from all Grub-street will my fame defend, Just writes to make his barrenness appear, And, more abusive, calls himself my friend. And strains from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year; This prints my letters, that expects a bribe, He, who, still wanting, though he lives on thest, And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe !" Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left:
There are, who to my person pay their court: And he, who, now to sense, now nonsense leaning I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am short. Means not, but blúnders round about a meaning: Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high, And he, whose sustian's so sublimely bad, Such Ovid's nose, and, “Sir! you have an eye!" It is not poetry, but prose run mad : Go on, obliging creature, make me see
All these, my modest satire bad translate, All that disgrac'd my belters, met in me.
And own'd that nine such poets made a Tate. Say, for my comfort, languishing in bed,
How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe! “ Just so immortal Maro held his head ;"
And swear, not Addison himself was safe. And when I die, be sure you let me know
Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires Great Homer died three thousand years ago. True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires ;
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Blest with each talent and each art 10 please, Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own? And born to write, converse, and live with ease : As yet a child, nor yet a fool to Fame,
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne, I left no calling for this idle trade,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes, No duty broke, no father disobey'd ;
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise ; The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not wife; Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, To help me through this long disease, my life ; And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer; To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, And teach, the being you preserv'd, to bear. Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
But why then publish ? Granville the polite, Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend, And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write ; A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend ; Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praise, Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd, And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays; And so obliging, that he ne'er obliged ; The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read, Like Caio, give his little senate laws, Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head, And sit attentive to his own applause ; And St. John's self (great Dryden's friend before) While wits and templars every sentence raise, With open arms receiv'd one poet more.
And wonder with a foolish face of praiseHappy my studies, when by these approv'd ! Who but must laugh, if such a man there be ! Happier their author, when by these belov'd ! Who would not weep, if Atticus were he! From these the world will judge of men and books, What, though my name stood rubric on the walls Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks. Or plaster'd posts, with claps, in capitals ?
Soft were my numbers: who could take offence Or smoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load, While pure description held the place of sense? On wings of winds came flying all abroad ? Like gentle Fanny's was my flowery theme, I sought no homage from the race that write ; A painted mistress, or a purling stream.
I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight : Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; Poems I heeded (now be-rhym'd so long) I wish'd the man a dinner, and sate still.
No more than thou, great George! a birth-day song Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret:
I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days, I never answer'd, I was not in debt.
To spread about the itch of versé and praise ; If want provok'd, or madness made them print, Nor, like a puppy, daggled through the town, I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint. To fetch and carry sing-song up and down;
Did some more sober critic come abroad; Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd, and cried, If wrong, I smild ; if right, I kiss'd the rod. With handkerchief and orange at my side! Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence,
But, sick of fops, and poetry, and prate, And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense.
To Bufo left the whole Castalian state. Commas and points they set exactly right,
Proud as Apollo on his forked hill, And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite. Sate full-blown Bufo, puff'd by every quill ; Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds, Fed with soft dedication all day long, From slashing Bentley down to piddling Tibalds: Horace and he went hand in hand in song. Each wight, who reads not, and but scans and spells, His library (where busts of poets dead Each word-catcher, that lives on syllables, And a true Pindar stood without a head) Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim, Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race, Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakspeare's name. Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place ; Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his seat, of hairs, of straws, or dirt, or gruhs, or worms! And flatter'd every day, and some days eat; The things we know are neither rich nor rare,
Till, grown more frugal in his riper days, But wonder how the devil they got there. He paid some bards with port, and some with praise To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys : Dryden alone (what wonder ?) came not nigh, So well-bred spaniels civilly delight Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. But still the great have kindness in reserve, Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve. As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. May some choice patron bless each grey goose. Whether in florid impotence he speaks, quill!
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks, May every Bavius have his Bufo still!
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, So when a statesman wants a day's defence, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense, In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or simple pride for flattery makes demands, Or spite, or smut, or rhymnes, or blasphemies. May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands! His wit all see-saw, between that and this, Blest be the great! for those they take away, Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, And those they left me; for they left me Gay: And he himself one vile Antithesis. Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Amphibious thing! that, acting either part, Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb:
The trilling head! or the corrupted heart, of all thy blameless life the sole return
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er thy urn! Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Oh let me live my own, and die so loo! Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have exprest, (To live and die is all I have to do :)
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest. Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, And see what friends, and read what books I please: Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust. Above a patron, though I condescend
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool, Sometimes to call a minister my friend.
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool, I was not born for courts or great affairs :
Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise, I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers ; That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways: Can sleep without a poem in my head,
That Alatiery, ev'n to kings, he held a shame, Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same; Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long, Heavens! was I born for nothing but to write ? But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song : Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
That not for fame, but Virtue's better end, Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save ? He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, “ I found him close with Swift-Indeed ? no doubt The damning critic, half-approving wit, (Cries prating Balbus) something will come out." The coxcomb hit, or searing to be hit; 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will,
Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had, “No, such a genius never can lie still ;"
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The distant threats of vengeance on his head, The first lampoon Sir Will or Bubo makes. The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed ; Poor, guiltless 1! and can I choose but smile, The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown, When every coxcomb knows me hy my style ? Th’imputed trash, and dullness not his own;
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow, The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape, That tends to make one worthy man my soe, The libellid person and the pictur'd shape ; Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread, Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
A friend in exile, or a father dead; But he who hurts a harmless neighbor's peace, The whisper, that, to greatness still too near, Insults fall'n worth, or beanty in distress,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's earWho loves a lie, lame slander helps about, Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past : Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last ! That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name, A. But why insult the poor, affront the great ? Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame : P. A knave's a knave, to me, in every state : Who can your merit selfishly approve,
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, And show the sense of it without the love ; Sporus at court, or Japhet in a gaol; Who has the vanity to call you friend,
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupi, or of the shire ;
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, And sees at Cannons what was never there; Sappho can tell you how this man was bit: Who reads but with a lust to misapply,
This dreaded sat 'rist Dennis will confess Make satire a lampoon, and fiction lie;
Foe to his pride but friend to his distress : A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym’d for Moor
Let Sporus tremble-A. What ? that thing of silk, Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply? Sporus, that mere while curd of ass's milk? Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie. Satire of sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
To please his mistress one aspers'd his life; Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife: P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings; And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, His father, mother, body, soul, and Muse.
With all the incense of the breathing spring : Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
See lofty Lebanon his head advance, It was a sin to call our neighbor fool :
See nodding forests on the mountains dance : That harmless mother thought no wife a whore: See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, Hear this, and spare his family, James Moore ; And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies? Unspotted names, and memorable long;
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers: If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears ! of gentle blood (part shed in Honor's cause, A God, a God! the vocal hills reply, While yet in Britain Honor had applause) The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity. Each parent sprung.–A, What fortune, pray ?- Lo, Earth receives him from the bending skies ! P. Their own,
Sink down, ye mountains ! and ye valleys, rise! And better got, than Bestia's from the throne. With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay! Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way! Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
The Savior comes! by ancient bards foretold : Stranger to civil and religious rage,
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold! The good man walk'd innoxious through his age. He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, No courts he saw, no suits would ever try, And on the sightless eyeball pour the day : Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
"Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear, Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art, And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear: No language, but the language of the heart. The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, By nature honest, by experience wise ;
And leap exulting like the bounding roe. Healthy by temperance, and by exercise;
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear, His life, though long, to sickness past unknown, From every face he wipes off every tear. His death was instant, and without a groan. In adamantine chains shall Death be bound, O grant me thus to live, and thus to die!
And Hell's grim tyrant feel th'elernal wound. Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine! Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air; Be no unpleasing melancholy mine :
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, Me, let the tender office long engage,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects ; To rock the cradle of reposing age,
The tender lambs he raises in his arms, With lenient arts extend a mother's breath, Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms : Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death, Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, Explore the thought, explain the asking eye, The promis'd father of the future age. And keep awhile one parent from the sky!
No more shall nation against nation rise, On cares like these if length of days attend, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er, Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more ;
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise; A SACRED ECLOGUE, IN IMITATION OF VIRGIL'S POLLIO.
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear. Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the song :
On rified rocks, the dragon's late abodes, To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn, The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn: Delight no more, thou my voice inspire To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed, Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire ! And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
Rapt into future times, the bard begun: The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead : From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies : And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. Th' ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, The smiling infant in his hand shall take And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
See thy bright altars throng’d with prostrate kings, No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd, And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd ; See Heaven his sparkling portals wide display, By foreign hands thy humble grave adornia, And break upon thee in a flood of day!
By strangers honor'd, and by strangers mourn'd! No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn, What though no friends in sable weeds appear, Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior rays,
And bear about the mockery of woe One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
To midnight dances, and the public show?
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
While angels with their silver wings o'ershado
The ground now sacred by thy relics made. TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. What beckoning ghost, along the moonlight shade, How lov’d, how honor'd once, avails thce not, Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ?
To whom related, or by whom begot; "Tis she !—but why that bleeding bosom gor'd,
A heap of dust alone remains of thee, Why dimly gleams the visionary sword ?
"Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be! Oh, ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung, Is it, in Heaven, a crime to love too well ?
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, To act a lover's or a Roman's part ?
Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays; Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part: For those who greatly think, or bravely die ?
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!
The first Part (to verse 132.) imitated in the Year 1714, by Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Dr. Swift; the latter Part added afterwards.
I've often wish'd that I had clear
For life, six hundred pounds a year, From these perhaps (ere Nature bade her die) A handsome house to lodge a friend, Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
A river at my garden's end, As into air the purer spirits flow,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood And separate from their kindred dregs below; Of land, set out to plant a wood. So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't bụt think 'twould sound more clever These cheeks now fading at the blast of Death ; To me and to my heirs for ever. Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, “If I ne'er got or lost a groat, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. By any trick, or any fault; Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball,
And if I pray by Reason's rules,
As thus, . Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker!
Preserve, Almighty Providence!
Just what you gave me, competence : So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow And let me in these shades compose For others' good, or melt at others' woe.
Something in verse as true as prose ; What can atone, oh, ever-injur'd shade :
Remov'd from all th'ambitious scene, Thy fate unpilied, and thy rites unpaid ?
Nor puff’d by pride, nor sunk by spleen."