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Ye tinsel insects! whom a court maintains,
That counts your beauties only by your stains,
Spin all your cobwebs o'er the eye of day!
The muse's wing shall brush you all away:
All his grace preaches, all his lordship sings,
All that makes saints of queens, and gods of kings;
All, all but truth, drops dead-born from the press,
Like the last gazette, or the last address.
When black ambition stains a public cause,
A monarch's sword when mad vain-glory draws,
Not Waller's wreath can hide a nation's scar,
Not Boileau turn the feather to a star.
Not so, when, diadem'd with rays divine,
Touch'd with the flame that breaks from virtue's
Her priestess muse forbids the good to die,
And opes the temple of eternity.
There, other trophies deck the truly brave,
Than such as Anstis casts into the grave;
Far other stars than * and **
wear, And may descend to Mordington from Stair; (Such as on Hough's unsullied mitre shine, Or beam, good Digby, from a heart like thine) Let envy howl, while heaven's whole chorus
And bark at honour not conferr'd by kings;
Let flattery sickening see the incense rise,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies:
Truth guards the poet, sanctifies the line,
And makes immortal verse as mean as mine.
Yes, the last pen for freedom let me draw,
When truth stands trembling on the edge of law;
Here, last of Britons ! let your names be read:
Are none, none living ? let me praise the dead,
And for that cause which made your fathers shing
Fall by the votes of their degenerate line.
F. Alas, alas ! pray end what you began, And write next winter more Essays on Man
Imitated in the Manner of Dr. Swift.
"Tis true, my lord, I gave my word,
I would be with you June the third ;
Changed it to August, and (in short)
Have kept it-as you do at court.
You humour me when I am sick,
Why not when I am splenetic?
In town, what objects could I meet ?
The shops shut up in every street,
And funerals blackening all the doors,
And yet more melancholy whores :
And what a dust in every place!
And a thin court that wants your face
And fevers raging up and down,
And W* and H** both in town!
“The dog-days are no more the case 'Tis true, but winter comes apace: Then southward let your bard retire, Hold out some months 'twixt sun and fire, And you shall see, the first warm weather, Me and the butterflies together.
My lord, your favours well I know : 'Tis with distinction you bestow; And not to every one that comes, Just as a Scotsman does his plums. *Pray take them, sir-Enough 's a feast : Eat some, and pocket up the rest'What, rob your boys ? those pretty rogues ! "No, sir, you'll leave them to the hogs.' Thus fools with compliments besiege ye, Contriving never to oblige ye. Scatter your
favours on a fop, gratitude's the certain crop,
And 'tis but just, I'll tell you wherefore,
You give the things you never care for.
A wise man always is or should
Be mighty ready to do good;
But makes a difference in his thought
Betwixt a guinea and a groat.
Now this I'll say, you'll find in me
A safe companion and a free;
But if you'd have me always near-
A word, pray, in your honour's ear:
I hope it is your resolution
To give me back my constitution !
The sprightly wit, the lively eye,
The engaging smile, the gaiety,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And kept you up so oft till one !
And all that voluntary vein,
As when Belinda raised my strain.
A weasel once made shift to slink
In at a corn loft through a chink;
But having amply stuff'd his skin,
Could not get out as he got in;
Which one belonging to the house
('Twas not a man, it was a mouse)
Observing, cried, 'You 'scape not so ;
Lean as you came, sir, you must go.'
Sir, you may spare your application,
I'm no such beast, nor his relation;
Not one that temperance advance,
Cramm'd to the throat with ortolans ;
Extremely ready to resign
All that may make me none of mine;
South-sea subscriptions take who please,
Leave me but liberty and ease.
'Twas what I said to Craggs and Child,
Who praised my modesty, and smiled.
Give me,' I cried (enough for me,)
.My bread, and independency!'
So bought an annual rent or two,
And lived -- just as you see I do;
Near fifty, and without a wife,
I trust that sinking fund, my life.
Can I retrench? Yes, mighty well,
Shrink back to my paternal cell,
A little house, with trees a-row,
And, like its master, very low.
There died my father, no man's debtor,
And there I'll die, nor worse nor better.
To set this matter full before ye,
Our old friend Swift will tell his story.
*Harley, the nation's great support
But you may read it, I stop short.
THE LATTER PART OF SATIRE VI. B. II.
O CHARMING noons! and nights divine !
Or when I sup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below,
Chatting and laughing all a-fow,
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
The grace-cup served with all decorum:
Each willing to be pleased, and please,
And e'en the very dogs at ease!
Here no man prates of idle things,
How this or that Italian sings,
A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's,
Or what's in either of the houses :
But something much more our concern,
And quite a scandal not to learn:
Which is the happier, or the wiser,
A man of merit, or a miser ?
Whether we ought to choose our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends ?
*See the first part in Swist's Prems
What good, or better, we may call,
And what the very best of all ?
Our friend Dan Prior, told (you know)
A tale extremely ‘à-propos :'
Name a town life, and in a trice
He had a story of two mice.
Once on a time (so runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hospitable,
Received a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.
A frugal mouse upon the whole,
Yet loved his friend, and had a soul,
Knew what was handsome, and would do't,
On just occasion, 'coûte qui coûte.'
He brought him bacon, (nothing lean ;)
Pudding that might have pleased a dean;
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make,
But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
He ate himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce could touch a bit,
But show'd his breeding and his wit;
He did his best to seem to eat,
And cried, 'I vow you're mighty neat;
But, lord, my friend, this savage scene!
For God's sake come, and live with men.
Consider, mice, like men, must die,
Both small and great, both you and I:
Then spend your life in joy and sport;
(This doctrine, friend, I learn’d at court.')
The veriest hermit in the nation May yield, God knows, to strong temptation Away they come, through thick and thin To a tall house near Lincoln's-inn: ('Twas on the night of a debate, When all their lordships had sat late.)
Behold the place, where if a poet Shined in description, he might show it