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P.SHUT, fhut the door, good John! fatigu'd 1 faid,
Tye up the knocker, fay I'm fick, I'm dead.
The Dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnaffus is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, thro' my Grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge,
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is facred, not the Church is free,
Even Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme
Happy to catch me, just at Dinner-time.
Is there a Parfon, much be-mus'd in beer, A maudling Poetefs, a rhyming Peer, A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's foul to cross, Who pens a Stanza, when he should engross? Is there, who lock'd from ink and paper, fcrawls With defperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All fly to TwIT'NAM, and in humble ftrain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whofe giddy son neglects the Laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the caufe: Poor Cornus fees his frantic wife elope,
And curfes Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong,
The world had wanted many an idle fong)
What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove?
Or which muft 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 ty'd down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be filent, and who will not lye:
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all power of face.
I fit with fad civility, I read
With honeft anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at laft, but in unwilling cars,
This faving counsel," Keep your piece nine years.”
Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull'd by foft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends:
"The piece, you think, is incorrect! why take it, "I'm all fubmiffion, what you'd have it, make it." Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon fends to me: "You know his Grace, "I want a Patron; ask him for a Place." Pitholeon libell'd me" but here's a letter "Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. "Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine."
Blefs me! a packet." Tis a stranger fues, "A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse." If I diflike it, "Furies, death and rage!" If I approve, "Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my stars) my whole commiffion ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. Fir'd that the house reject him, "'Sdeath I'll print it, "And shame the fools-Your int'reft, Sir, with Lintot." ↓ 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 laft he whispers, "Do; and we go fnacks."
Glad of a quarrel, ftrait I clap the door,
Sir, let me fee your works, and you no more.
'Tis fung, when Midas' Ears began to spring,
(Midas, a facred person and a King)
His very Minifter who spy'd them first,
(Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst.
And is not mine, my friend, a forer cafe,
When every coxcomb perks them in my face?
A. Good friend forbear! you deal in dangerous things,
I'd never name Queens, Minifters, or Kings;
Keep close to Ears, and those let affes prick,
'Tis nothing-P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the fecret pass,
That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The Queen of Midas flept, and fo may I.
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
No creature fmarts fo little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break,
Thou unconcern'd can't hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd,
Thou ftand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who fhames a Scribler? break one cobweb thro',
He fpins the flight, felf-pleafing thread anew :
Destroy his fib or fophiftry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Thron'd on the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vaft extent of flimfy lines!
Whom have I hurt has Poet yet, or Peer,
Loft the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnaffian fneer?
And has not Colly ftill his lord, and whore ?
His butchers Henly, his free-mafons Moor?
Does not one table Bavius ftill admit?
Still to one Bifhop Philips feems a wit?
Still Sappho---A. Hold; for God fake---you'll offend,
No names-be calm---learn prudence of a friend:
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like thefe---P. One Flatt'rer's worse than all.
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
It is the flaver kills, and not the bite.
A fool quite angry is quite innocent:
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes:
One from all Grubstreet will my fame defend,
And more abusive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, "Subscribe, subscribe."
There are, who to my perfon pay their court:
1 cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am short,
Ammon's great fon one shoulder had too high,
Such Ovid's nofe, and, "Sir! you have an Eye-
Go' on, obliging creatures, make me fee
All that difgrac'd my Betters, met in me.
Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
"Just fo immortal Maro held his head :"
And when I die, be fure you let me know
Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what fin to me unknown
Dipt me in ink, my parents, or my own?
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
I lifp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father difobey'd.
The Mufe but ferv'd to eafe fome friend, not Wife,
To help me thro' this long difeafe, my Life,
To fecond, AREUTHNOT! thy Art and Care,
And teach, the being you preferv'd, to bear.