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EPISTLE I 1.
Dear Colnel, Cobham's and your country's
You love a verse , take such as I can send. ( friend! A Frenchman comes, presents you with his boy, Bows and begins » This lad, Sir, is of Blois : » Observe his shape how clean! his locks how curld! » My only son, I'd have him see the world : » His French is pure; his voice too.
-you shall hear. » Sir, he's your slave, for twenty pound a year. » Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease, » Your barber , cook', upholst'rer, what you please : • A perfect genius at an op'ra-song» To say too much, might do my honour wrong. » Take him with all his virtues, on my word; » His whole ambition was to serve a lord : » But, Sir, to you, with what I would not part? » Tho' faith, I fear, 'twill break his mother's heart, » Once (and but once ) I caught him in a lye , » And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry: » The fault he has I fairly shall reveal, » (Could you o'erlook buit that ) it is to steal <s.
If, after this, you took the graceless lad, Could you complain , my friend, he prov'd so bad? Faith, in such case, if you should prosecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit; Who sent the thief that stole the cash, away, And punish'd him that put it in his way.
Consider then, and judge me in this light;
In Anna's wars, a foldier poor and old Had dearly earn'd a little purse of gold: Tir'd with a tedious march, one luckless night, He flept, poor dog! and lost it, to a doit. This put the man in such a desp'rate mind, Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd Against the foe, himself, and all mankind, He leap'd the trenches , scald a castle-wall, Tore down a standard, took the fort and all. » Prodigious well; « his great commander cry'd, Gave him much praise, and some reward beside. Next pleas'd his excellence a town to batter; (Its name I know not, and it's no great matter) » Go on, my friend ( he cry'd) see yonder walls! » Advance and conquer ! go where glory calls! » More honours, more rewards , attend the bravec, Don't you remember what reply he gave ? » D'ye think me, noble Gen’ral , such a sot? » Let him cake castles who has ne'er a groatc.
Bred up at home , full early I begun
But knottier points we knew not half so well,
Years foll'wing years, steal something ev'ry day,
But after all, what would you have me do? When out of twenty I can please not two ; When this heroics only deigns to praise , Sharp satire that, and that pindaric lays ? One likes the pheasant's wing, and one the leg ; The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg ; Hard task! to hit the palate of such guests, When Oldfield loves , what Dartineuf derests.
But grant I may relapse, for want of graces
Again to rhyme ; can London be the place ?
Go, lofty poet! and in such a croud,
The man, who stretch'd in Isis' calm retreat, To books and study gives sev'n years compleat. See! ftrow'd with learned dust, his night-eap on He walks , an object new beneath the sun!