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Ah! why did he write poetry,
And sell his soul for vanity,
To rhyming and the devil?
A desk he had of curious work,
Now as he scratch'd to fetch up thought,
With whiskers, band, and pantaloon,
Ho, Master Sam, quoth Sandys' sprite,
I hear the beat of Jacob's drums,2
Then lords and lordlings, 'squires and knights,
Garth at St. James's, and at White's,
Beats up for volunteers.
What Fenton will not do, nor Gay,
Nor Congreve, Rowe, nor Stanyan,
[Sandys (whom Dryden terms "the best versifier of the last age") pub
lished his translation of Ovid in 1627.]
2 [Jacob Tonson, the publisher.]
3 [The Earl of Pembroke.]
4 [Tom Burnet.]
If Justice Philips' costive head
Let W-rw-k's muse with Ash-t join,5
And P- pe translate with Jervas.
L- himself, that lively lord,7
Ye ladies too draw forth your pen,
Now, Tonson, list thy forces all,
For to poor Ovid shall befall
A metamorphosis more strange
Than all his books can vapour;
"To what (quoth 'squire) shall Ovid change?"
5 [Lord Warwick and Dr. Ashurst.]
7 Lord Lansdowne.
8 [Philip Frowde, a dramatic writer and fine scholar, a friend of Addison's.]
9 [Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Some of Lady Mary's Town Eclogues were published in 1716.]
OZELL, at Sanger's call, invoked his Muse—
For who to sing for Sanger could refuse?
[Sanger was a bookseller who published Ozell's translation of Boileau's Lutrin, which Rowe considered entertaining. The Plain Dealer is Wycherley's best comedy; the Biter, a very indifferent one, by Rowe. As to Ozell, he will be found in the Dunciad.]
THE THREE GENTLE SHEPHERDS.
[The three shepherds-two of whom Pope never tired of satirising-were Ambrose Philips, Eustace Budgell, and Henry Carey. What poor Carey had done to irritate the poet does not appear. He, too, had ridiculed Philips's namby-pamby verses; and his song of Sally in our Alley, should have formed a passport to favour. Addison, however, had praised it in the Spectator, and to this circumstance probably Carey owed his being ranked with the Whig poets. In the last line Pope alludes to Curll's boast, that in prose he was equal to Pope, but in poetry Pope had a particular knack! Mr. Pope, he said, no more a gentleman than Mr. Curll, nor more eminent as a poet than he as a bookseller.]
OF gentle Philips will I ever sing,
With gentle Philips shall the valleys ring;
My numbers too for ever will I vary,
A COURT BALLAD. [1716.]
To the tune of "To all you Ladies now at Land," &c.
TO one fair lady out of Court,
And two fair ladies in,
Who think the Turk and Pope a sport,
And wit and love no sin!
Come, these soft lines, with nothing stiff in,
With a fa, la, la.
What passes in the dark third row,
Then why to Courts should I repair,
1 [Ladies of the Court of the Princess Caroline. Mary Bellenden became the wife of Colonel Campbell (afterwards Duke of Argyll), and Mary Lepell married Lord Hervey. Both marriages took place in October, 1720, and the Court was thus deprived of its most popular and beautiful ornaments.]
2 [Lord Townshend, a rough but popular minister, who was then out of favour with the Court, and had a rupture with his colleague, Stanhope, which ended in his being forced to resign.]
3 [The Earl of Sunderland, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, had been charged with encouraging the native Irish, and appointing them to public offices.
Alas! like Schutz I cannot pun,*
In truth, by what I can discern
Some wit you have, and more may learn
At Leicester Fields, a house full high,
There may you meet us three to three,
But should you catch the prudish itch,
Bring sometimes with you Lady Rich,5
And sometimes Mistress Howard;
Hence the talk concerning " Blunderland." Sunderland exchanged the LordLieutenancy for the Privy Seal in 1715, and was afterwards Prime Minister. His death took place in 1722.]
[Augustus Schutz, Equerry to Prince George. The "Grafton" mentioned in the next line was the Duke of Grafton, the second duke, who was one of the Lords of the Bedchamber in 1714, and next year of the Privy Council. "Pickenbourg" and "Meadows" were maids of honour, the latter a sister of Sir Sidney Meadows.]
5 [Lady Rich, one of the correspondents of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, was the wife of Sir Robert Rich, Bart. She was a daughter of Colonel Griffin, and sister of Miss Griffin, of the Princess's establishment, alluded to in the