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Our fate thou only canst adjourn
Some few short years, no more !
E'en Button's wits to worms shall turn,
Who maggots were before.

EPISTLE TO MRS. MARTHA BLOUNT,

ON HER BIRTHDAY.

On be thou bless'd with all that heaven can send,
Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a friend:
Not with those toys the female world admire,
Riches that vex, and vanities that tire.
With added years if life bring nothing new,
But like a sieve let every blessing through,
Some joy still lost, as each vain year runs o'er,
And all we gain some sad reflection more-
Is that a birthday? 'tis, alas ! too clear,
'Tis but the funeral of the former year.

Let joy or ease, let affluence or content,
And the gay conscience of a life well spent,
Calm every thought, inspirit every grace,
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear;
Till death, unfelt, that tender frame destroy,
In some soft dream, or ecstasy of joy,
Peaceful sleep out the sabbath of the tomb,
And wake to raptures in a life to come.

TO MR. THOMAS SOUTHERNE,

ON HIS BIRTHDAY, 1742.

RESIGN'D to live, prepar'd to die,
With not one sin but poetry,
This day Tom's fair account has run
(Without a blot) to eighty-one.
Kind Boyle," before his poet, lays
A table with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,
Presents her harp 2 still to his fingers.
The feast, his towering genius marks
In yonder wildgoose and the larks!
The mushrooms show his wit was sudden!
And for his judgment, lo, a pudden !
Roast beef, though old, proclaims him stout,
And grace, although a bard, devout.
May Tom, whom Heaven sent down to raise
The price of prologues and of plays,
Be every birthday more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thousandth dinner,
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And scorn a rascal in a coach.

1 Southerne was invited to dine on his birthday with Lord Orrery, who had prepared the entertainment, of which the bill of fare is here set down.

2 The Harp generally woven Irish linen, such as tablecloths, &c.

8 The usual price given to Dryden for a prologue was four

ROXANA, OR THE DRAWING ROOM.

AN ECLOGUE.1

Roxana from the court returning late,
Sigh'd her soft sorrow at St. James's gate.
Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breast,
Not her own chairmen with more weight opprest:
They curse the cruel weight they're doom'd to bear;
She in more gentle sounds express'd her care.

Was it for this, that I these roses wear?
For this, new-set the jewels for my hair?
Ah Princess! with what zeal have I pursu'd ?
Almost forgot the duty of a prude.
This king I never could attend too soon;
I miss'd my prayers, to get me dress’d by noon.
For thee, ah! what for thee did I resign?
My passions, pleasures, all that e'er was mine.
I've sacrific'd both modesty and ease;
Left operas, and went to filthy plays:
Double-entendres shock'd my tender ear;
Yet even this, for thee, I choose to bear.

guineas; till Southerne, then a young man, having applied to him for one, Dryden refused to furnish it under six guineas. Southerne was the first dramatist who had the benefit of a third night.

1 This and the following piece are two of six Town Eclogues: the four others were written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Probably the two here given were also from her pen, and only corrected by Pope.

In glowing youth, when nature bids be gay,
And every joy of life before me lay;
By honour prompted, and by pride restrain'd,
The pleasures of the young my soul disdain'd:
Sermons I sought, and with a mien severe
Censur'd my neighbours, and said daily prayer.
Alas, how chang'd! with this same sermon-mien,
The filthy What-d'ye-call-it2_I have seen.
Ah, royal Princess ! for whose sake I lost
The reputation, which so dear had cost;
I, who avoided every public place,
When bloom and beauty bid me show my face,
Now near thee, constant, I each night abide,
With never-failing duty by my side;
Myself and daughters standing in a row,
To all the foreigners a goodly show.
Oft had your drawing-room been sadly thin,
And merchants' wives close by your side had

been,
Had I not amply fill'd the empty place,
And sav'd your Highness from the dire disgrace.
Yet Cockatilla's artifice prevails,
When all my duty and my merit fails-
That Cockatilla, whose deluding airs
Corrupts our virgins, and our youth insnares ;
So sunk her character, and lost her fame,
Scarce visited before your Highness came;
Yet for the bed-chamber 'tis she you choose,
Whilst zeal, and fame, and virtue you

refuse. 2 A comedy by Gay.

Ah, worthy choice! not one of all your train
Which censures blast not, or dishonours stain.
I know the court, with all its treacherous wiles,
The false caresses, and undoing smiles.
Ah Princess ! learn'd in all the courtly arts,
To cheat our hopes and yet to gain our hearts.

THE BASSET-TABLE.

AN ECLOGUE.

CARDELIA, SMILINDA, LOVET.

CARD. THE Basset-table spread, the tallier come,
Why stays Smilinda in the dressing-room?
Rise, pensive nymph! the tallier waits for you.

SMIL. Ah, madam! since my Sharper is untrue,
I joyless make my once ador'd Alpeu.
I saw him stand behind Ombrelia's chair,
And whisper with that soft deluding air, [fair.
And those feign’d sighs which cheat the listening

CARD. Is this the cause of your romantic strains? A mightier grief my heavy heart sustains : As you by love, so I by fortune crost; One, one bad deal, three septlevas have lost.

Smil. Is that the grief which you compare with With ease the smiles of fortune I resign: [mine? Would all my gold in one bad deal were gone, Were lovely Sharper mine, and mine alone.

CARD. A lover lost is but a common care, And prudent nymphs against that change prepare:

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