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Go on, obliging creatures! make me fee
All that difgrac'd my betters met in me.
Say, for my comfort, languifhing in bed,
"Juft 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
Dipp'd 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 disobey'd:

The Mufe but ferv'd to eafe fome friend, not wife,
To help me thro' this long disease, my life,
To fecond, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
And teach the being you preferv'd to bear.





But why then publish? Granville, the polite, 135 And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write; Well-natur'd Garth inflam'd with early praife, And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd, my lays; The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield, read, E'en mitred Rochefter would nod the head, And St. John's felf (great Dryden's friends before) With open arms receiv'd one poet more. Happy my ftudies, when by thefe approv'd! Happier their Author, when by thefe belov'd! From thefe the world will judge of men and books; Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks. Soft were my numbers; who could take offence, While pure defcription held the place of sense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted miftrefs, or a purling stream. Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wish'd the man a dinner, and fat ftill: Yet then did. Dennis rave in furious fret; I never anfwer'd; I was not in debt.



If want provok'd, or madness made them print, 155 I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.

Did fome more fober critic come abroad;

If wrong'd, I fmil'd; if right, I kifs the rod.



Pains, reading, ftudy, are their just pretence,
And all they want is fpirit, tafte, and fenfe.
Commas and points they fet exactly right,
And 'twere a fin to rob them of their mite;
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribbalds,
From flashing Bentley down to piddling Tibbalds:
Each wight who reads not, and but scans and spells,
Each word-catcher, that lives on fyllables,
E'en fuch fmall critics fome regard may claim,
Preferv'd in Milton's or in Shakespeare's name.
Pretty! in amber to obferve the forms

Of hair, 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.





Were others angry; I excus'd them too;
Well might they rage, I gave them but their due.
A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find,
But each man's fecret ftandard in his mind.
That cafting weight pride adds to emptiness,
This who can gratify? for who can guess?
The bard whom pilfer'd paftorals renown,
Who turns a Perfian tale for half-a-crown,
Juft writes to make his barrennefs appear,
And ftrains from hard-bound brains eight lines a-year ;
He who still wanting, tho' he lives on theft,
Steals much, fpends little, yet has nothing left;
And he who now to fenfe, now nonfenfe, leaning, 185
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning;
And he whofe fuftain's fo fublimely bad,

It is not poetry, but profe run mad:

All thefe my modest Satire bade translate,

And own'd that nine fuch poets made a Tate.


How did they fume, and ftamp, and roar, and chafe!
And fwear not Addison himfelf was safe.

Peace to all fuch! But were there one whofe fires

True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires,

Blefs'd with each talent, and each art to please, 195
And born to write, converfe, and live with ease;
Should fuch a man, too fond to rule alone,

Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne;




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View him with scornful yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rife
Damn with faint praife, affent with civil leer,
And without fneering teach the reft to fneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike;
Juft hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike referv'd to blame, or to commend;
A tim'rous foe, and a fufpicious friend;
Dreading e'en fools; by flatterers befieg'd,
And fo obliging that he ne'er oblig'd;
Like Cato give his little fenate laws,
And fit attentive to his own applause;
While wits and Templars ev'ry sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise-
Who but muft laugh if fuch a man there be !
Who would not weep if Atticus were he!







What tho' my name ftood rubric on the walls Or plafter'd pofts, with claps, in capitals? Or fmoaking forth, a hundred hawkers' load, On wings of winds came flying all abroad? I fought no homage from the race that write; I kept, like Afian monarchs, from their fight: Poems I heeded (now berhym'd fo long) No more than thou, great George! a birthday fong; I ne'er with wits or witlings pafs'd my days, To spread about the itch of verfe and praise; Nor like a puppy daggled thro' the Town To fetch and carry fing-fong up and down; Nor at rehearsals fweat, and mouth'd, and cry'd, With handkerchief and orange at my fide; But, fick of fops, and poetry, and prate, To Bufo left the whole Caftalian state. Proud as Apollo on his forked hill Sat full-blown Bufo, puff'd by ev'ry quill ; Fed with foft dedication all day long, Horace and he went hand in hand in song. His library (where bufts of poets dead And a true Pindar stood without a head) Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race, Who first his judgment afk'd, and then a place:




Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his feat,
And flatter'd ev'ry day, and fome days ate;
Till grown more frugal in his riper days,


He paid fome bards with port, and fome with praise; To fome a dry rehearsal was affign'd,

And others (harder still) he paid in kind.

Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh; 245
Dryden alone efcap'd this judging eye:

But still the great have kindness in reserve,
He help'd to bury whom he help to starve.


May fome choice patron blefs each gray-goofe quill! May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo ftill! So when a statesman want's a day's defence, Or Envy holds a whole week's war with Sense, Or fimple Pride for flatt'ry makes demands, May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands! Blefs'd be the great! for these they take away, And those they left me-for they left me Gay; Left me to fee neglected genius bloom, Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb: Of all thy blameless life the fole return


My verfe, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn! 260 O! let me live my own, and die so too!

(To live and die is all I have to do ;)

Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,

And fee what friends, and read what books, I pleafe; Above a patron, tho' I condescend

Sometimes to call a minister my friend.

I was not born for courts or great affairs;

I pay my debts, believe, and fay my pray❜rs;
Can fleep without a poem in my head,

Nor know if Dennis be alive or dead.

Why am I afk'd what next shall see the light?



Heav'ns! was I born for nothing but to write?
Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)

Have I no friend to ferve, no foul to fave?


"I found him clofe with Swift"--" Indeed? no doubt

(Cries prating Balbus) fomething will come out." 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will;


"No, fuch a genius never can lie still ;” D 2


And then for mine obligingly mistakes,
The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes.
Poor guiltless I and can I chufe but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my Style?

Curft be the verfe, how well fo'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue fcandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the foft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Infults fall'n worth, or beauty in distress,
Who loves a lie, lame flander helps about,
Who writes a libel, or who copies out; .
That fop whofe pride affects a patron's name,
Yet abfent wounds an author's honeft fame;
Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love;
Who has the vanity to call you Friend,
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend ;
Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
And if he lie not, muft at least betray;
Who to the Dean and filver bell can fwear,
And fees at Canons what was never there;
Who reads but with a luft to mitapply,
Makes fatire a lampoon, and fiction lie;
A lafh like mine no honest man shall dread,
But all fuch babbling blockheads in his stead.






Let Sporus tremble-A. What? that thing of filk, Sporus! that mere white curd of affes' milk?

Satire or fenfe, alas! can Sporus feel!

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,


This painted child of dirt, that ftinks and stings; 310
Whofe buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er taftes, and beauty ne'er enjoys:
So well-bred fpanieis civilly delight

In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal fmiles his emptiness betray,


As fhallow ftreams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,

And as the prompter breathes the puppet squeaks,


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