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To question your empire has dared;
Have thought that in learning,
With musty dull rules, Have reading to females denied: So papists refuse
The Bible to use,
Lest flocks should be wise as their guide.
"Twas a woman at first
(Indeed she was cursed)
In knowledge that tasted delight,
The laws should decree
To the first of possessors the right.
Then bravely, fair dame,
Resume the old claim,
Which to your whole sex does belong;
From a second bright Eve,
The knowledge of right and of wrong.
But if the first Eve
Hard doom did receive, When only one apple had she, What a punishment new
Shall be found out for you,
Who tasting, have robb'd the whole tree!
THE FOURTH EPISTLE OF THE FIRST BOOK OF HORACE'S EPISTLES.
A modern Imitation.
SAY, St. John who alone peruse
Is to your injured country due.
EPIGRAM ON MRS. TOFTS,
A handsome Woman with a fine Voice, but very covetous and proud.
So bright is thy beauty, so charming thy song,
On one who made long Epitaphs.
FRIEND, for your epitaphs I'm grieved,
TO SIR GODFREY KNELLER,
On his painting for me the Statues of Apollo, Venus, and Hercules.
WHAT god, what genius, did the pencil move
When Kneller painted these?
Twas friendship-warm as Phoebus, kind as Love And strong as Hercules.
A FAREWELL TO LONDON,
In the Year 1715.
DEAR, damn'd distracting town, farewell!
Ye harlots, sleep at ease.
Soft B*** and rough C***** adieu !
The lively H*****k and you
May knock up whores alone.
To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
Farewell Arbuthnot's raillery
And Garth, the best good christian he
Linton, farewell; thy bar must go!
Farewell, unhappy Tonson!
Why should I stay? Both parties rage;
The wits in envious feuds engage;
And Homer (dama him!) calls.
The love of arts lies cold and dead
In Halifax's urn;
And not one Muse of all he fed,
My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
Why make I friendships with the great,
Or follow girls seven hours in eight ?—
Still idle with a busy air,
The gayest valetudinaire,
Solicitous for other's ends
Though fond of dear 'repose;
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
And Burlington's delicious meal,
For salads, tarts, and pease!
Adieu to all but Gay alone,
Whose soul sincere and free,
Loves all mankind, but flatters none,
And so may starve with me.