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ES; thank my ftars! as early as I knew This Town, I had the fenfe to hate it Yet here, as ev'n in Hell, there must be ftill One Giant-Vice, fo excellently ill,
That all befide, one pities, not abhors;
As who knows Sappho, fmiles at other whores.
I grant that Poetry 's a crying fin;
It brought (no doubt) th' Excise and Army in:
Catch'd like the Plague, or Love, the Lord knows how,
But that the cure is ftarving, all allow.
Yet like the Papift's, is the Poet's state,
Poor and difarm'd, and hardly worth your
IR; though (I thank God for it) I do hate
In all ill things, fo excellently beft,
That hate towards them, breeds pity towards the rest.
Though Poetry, indeed, be fuch a fin,
As I think, that brings dearth and Spaniards in:
Though like the peftilence and old-fashion'd love,
Ridlingly it catch men, and doth remove
Never, till it be ftarv'd out; yet their state
Is poor, difarm'd, like Papifts, not worth 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 faves a rogue who cannot read.
Thus as the pipes of fome carv'd Organ move,
The gilded puppets dance and mount above.
Heav'd by the breath th' inspiring bellows blow:
Th' infpiring bellows lie and pant below.
One fings the Fair: but fongs no longer move;
No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love:
In love's, in nature's fpite, the fiege they hold,
And fcorn the flesh, the devil, and all but gold.
These write to Lords, fome mean reward to get, 25
As needy beggars fing at doors for meat.
Bring not now their old fears, nor their old harms;
Rams and flings now are filly battery,
Pistolets are the best artillery.
And they who write to Lords, rewards to get,
Are they not like fingers at doors for meat?
And they who write, because all write, have still
That 'fcufe for writing, and for writing ill.
One (like a wretch, which at barre judg'd as dead,
Yet prompts him which stands next, and cannot read,
And faves his life) gives Idiot Actors means
(Starving himself) to live by 's labour'd fcenes.
As in fome Organs Puppits dance above,
And bellows pant below, which them do move.
One would move love by rhymes; but witchcraft's
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excufe for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others wit:
'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Senfe, paft through him, no longer is the fame;
For food digefted takes another name.
I pass o'er all those Confeffors and Martyrs,
Who live like S-tt-n, or who die like Chartres,
Out-cant old Efdras, or out-drink his heir,
Out-ufure Jews, or Irishmen out-fwear;
Wicked as Pages, who in early years
Act fins which Prifca's Confeffor fcarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon, for whose finful fake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw
Others wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw
Rankly digefted, doth those things out-fpue,
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 thefe do me no harm, nor they which use,
. to out-ufure Jews,
To out-drink the fea, t' out-fwear the Letanie,
Who with fins all kinds as familiar be
As Confeffors, and for whofe finful fake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no Canonift 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 Impudence:
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
Whose gentle progrefs makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an Attorney of an Ass.
No young divine, new-benefic'd, can be
More pert, more proud, more pofitive, than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do,
But turn a wit, and fcribble verses too?
Pierce the foft 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 wooe in language of the Pleas and Bench?
Whofe ftrange fins Canonifts could hardly tell
In which Commandment's large receit they dwell.
But these punish themselves. The infolence
Of Cofcus, only, breeds my juft offence,
Whom time (which rots all, and makes botches pox,
And plodding on, must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a Lawyer; which (alas) of late;
But fcarce a Poet: jollier of this state,
Than are new-benefic'd Minifters, he throws
Like nets or lime-twigs wherefoe'er he goes
Language, which Boreas might to Aufter hold
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch, fo venal and fo vain :
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
'Tis fuch a bounty as was never known,
If PETER deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praise, if Peter but fupplies!
And what a folemn face, if he denies!
Grave, as when prisoners shake the head and swear
'Twas only Suretiship that brought them there. 70
His Office keeps your Parchment fates entire,
He starves with cold to fave them from the fire;
For you he walks the streets through rain or duft,
For not in Chariots Peter puts his truft;
His tittle of Barrister on every wench,
And wooes in language of the Pleas and Bench. * * Words, words which would tear
The tender labyrinth of a Maid's foft ear:
More, more than ten Sclavonians fcolding, more
Than when winds in our ruin'd Abbeys roar.
Then fick with Poetry, and poffeft with Muse
Thou waft, and mad I hop'd; but men which chufe
Law practice for mere gain: bold foul repute
Worfe than imbrothel'd ftrumpets prostitute.
Now like an owl-like watchman he must walk,
His hand ftill at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like prifoners, which whole months will fwear,
That only furetiship had brought them there,