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TO A PLAY FOR MR. DENNIS'S BENEFIT IN 1733, WHEN HE WAS OLD, BLIND, AND IN GREAT DISTRESS. A LITTLE BEFORE HIS DEATH.
As when that hero, who in each campaign,
Had braved the Goth, and many a Vandal slain,
Lay fortune-struck, a spectacle of woe!
Wept by each friend, forgiven by every foe;
Was there a generous, a reflecting mind,
But pitied BELISARIUS old and blind?
Was there a chief but melted at the sight?
A common soldier, but who clubb'd his mite?
Such, such emotions should in Britons rise,
When press'd by want and weakness DENNIS lies,
Dennis, who long had warr'd with modern Huns,
Their quibbles routed, and defied their puns;
A desperate bulwark, sturdy, firm and fierce,
Against the Gothic sons of frozen verse:
How changed from him who made the boxes groan,
And shook the stage with thunders all his own!
Stood up to dash each vain PRETENDER'S hope,
Maul the French tyrant or pull down the POPE!
If there's a Briton then, true bred and born,
Who holds dragoons and wooden shoes in scorn;
If there's a critic of distinguish'd rage;
If there's a senior, who contemns this age;
Let him to-night his just assistance lend,
And be the critic's, Briton's, old man's friend.
WHEN simple Macer, now of high renown,
First sought a poet's fortune in the town,
'Twas all the ambition his high soul could feel,
To wear red stockings, and to dine with Steele.
Some ends of verse his betters might afford,
And gave the harmless fellow a good word.
Set up with these, he ventured on the town,
And with a borrow'd play, outdid poor Crown.
There he stopp'd short, nor since has writ a tittle,
But has the wit to make the most of little:
Like stunted hide-bound trees, that just have got
Sufficient sap at once to bear and rot.
Now he begs verse, and what he gets commends,
Not of the wits his foes, but fools his friends.
So some coarse country wench, almost decay'd, Trudges to town, and first turns chambermaid; Awkward and supple, each devoir to pay; She flatters her good lady twice a day; Thought wondrous honest, though of mean degree, And strangely liked for her simplicity: In a translated suit, then tries the town, With borrow'd pins, and patches not her own: But just endured the winter she began, And in four months a batter'd harridan. Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk, To bawd for others, and go shares with Punk.
INVENTOR OF THE CELEBRATED WORM-POWDER.
How much, egregious Moore, are we
Deceived by shows and forms!
Whate'er we think, whate'er we see
All humankind are worms.
Man is a very worm by birth,
Vile, reptile, weak, and vain! Awhile he crawls upon the earth, Then shrinks to earth again.
That woman is a worm, we find
E'er since our grandame's evil;
She first conversed with her own kind,
That ancient worm, the devil.
The learn'd themselves we book-worms name,
The blockhead is a slow-worm;
The nymph whose tail is all on flame
Is aptly term'd a glow-worm.
The fops are painted butterflies,
That flutter for a day;
First from a worm they take their rise,
And in a worm decay.
The flatterer an earwig grows:
Thus worms suit all conditions; Misers are muck-worms, silk-worms beaus, And death-watches physicians.
That statesmen have the worm, is seen
By all their winding play;
Their conscience is a worm within,
That gnaws them night and day.
Ah Moore! thy skill were well employ'd,
And greater gain would rise,
If thou couldst make the courtier void
The worm that never dies!
O learned friend of Abchurch-lane,
Who sett'st our entrails free!
Vain is thy art, thy powder vain,
Since worms shall eat even thee.
Our fate thou only canst adjourn
Some few short years, no more!
Even Button's wits to worms shall turn,
Who maggots were before.
BY A PERSON OF QUALITY.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733.
FLUTTERING spread thy purple pinions,
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart,
I a slave in thy dominions;
Nature must give way to art.
Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks, See my weary days consuming,
All beneath yon flowery rocks.
Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping,
Mourn❜d Adonis, darling youth:
Him the boar, in silence creeping,
Gored with unrelenting tooth.
Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
Fair Discretion, string the lyre; Soothe my ever-waking slumbers;
Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.
Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
Arm'd in adamantine chains, Lead me to the crystal mirrors,
Watering soft Elysian plains.
Mournful cypress, verdant willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's brows, Morpheus hovering o'er my pillow, Hear me pay my dying vows. •
Melancholy smooth Maander,
Swiftly purling in a round,
On thy margin lovers wander,
With thy flowery chaplets crown'd.
Thus when Philomela, drooping,
Softly seeks her silent mate,
See the bird of Juno stooping;
Melody resigns to fate.
ON A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.
I KNOW the thing that's most uncommon; (Envy be silent, and attend!)
I know a reasonable woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a friend.
Not warp'd by passion, awed by rumour,
Not grave through pride, or gay through folly,
An equal mixture of good humour
And sensible soft melancholy.
"Has she no faults then, (Envy says) Sir?”
Yes, she has one, I must aver;
When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman's deaf, and does not hear.
ON HIS GROTTO AT TWICKENHAM,
COMPOSED OF MARBLES, SPARS, GEMS, ORES, AND MINERALS.
THOU who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave
Shines a broad mirror through the shadowy cave;
Where lingering drops from mineral roofs distil,
And pointed crystals break the sparkling rill,
Unpolish'd gems no ray on pride bestow,
And latent metals innocently glow:
Approach. Great NATURE studiously behold!
And eye the mine without a wish for gold.
Approach: but awful! Lo! the Ægerian grot,
Where, nobly pensive, ST. JOHN sate and thought;
Where British sighs from dying WYNDHAM stole,
And the bright flame was shot through MARCHMONT'S
Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor, [soul.
Who dare to love their country, and be poor.
TO MR. GAY,
WHO CONGRATULATED HIM ON FINISHING HIS HOUSE AND GARDENS.
Аn, friend! 'tis true-this truth you lovers know-
In vain my structures rise, my gardens grow,
In vain fair Thames reflects the double scenes
Of hanging mountains, and of sloping greens:
Joy lives not here, to happier seats it flies,
And only dwells where WORTLEY casts her eyes.
What are the gay parterre, the checquer'd shade,
The morning bower, the evening colonnade,
But soft recesses of uneasy minds,
To sigh unheard in, to the passing winds?
So the struck deer in some sequester'd part
Lies down to die, the arrow at his heart,
He, stretch'd unseen in coverts hid from day,
Bleeds drop by drop, and pants his life away.