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Yes, thank my fars! as early as I knew
This town, I had the sense to hate it too :
Yet here, as ev'n in hell, there must be still
One giant-vice, so excellently ill, .
That all beside, one pities, not abhors;
As who knows Sappho , fmiles at other whores.
that poetry 's a crying fin;
It brought (no doubt ) ch' excise and army in :
Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows
But that the cure is starving, all allow.
Yet like the papist's, is the poet's state ,
Poor and disarm'd, and hardly worth your
Here a lean bard, whose wit could never give
Himself a dinner, makes an actor live :
The thief condemn'd , in law already dead ,
So prompts, and saves a rogue who cannot read.
Thus as the pipes of some carvid organ move,
The gilded puppets dance and mount above.
Heav'd by the breath th' inspiring bellows blow,
Th' inspiring bellows lie and pant below.
One fings the fair; but songs no longer move;
No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love :
Rams , and flings now are filly battery,
Pistolets are the best artillery.
And they who write to lords , rewards to get ,
Are they not like fingers at doors for meat ?
And they who write , because all write , have still
That 'scuse for writing , and for writing ill.
But he is worst, who beggarly doth chaw
Others wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw
Rankly digested, doth those things out-Spue,
As his own things ; and they're his own,
For if one eat my meat, though it be known
The meat was mine, the excrement's his own.
But these do me no harm , nor they which use,
to out-usure Jews,
T' out-drink the sea, tout-fwear the letanie,
Who with fins all kinds as familiar be
As confeffors, and for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make ;
Whose strange fins canonists could hardly tell
In which commandment's large receit they dwell.
But these punish themselves. The infolence
Of Coscus, only , breeds my just offence,
Whom time ( which rots all, and makes botches pos,
And plodding on, must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a lawyer ; which ( alas!) of late ;
But scarce a poet : jollier of this state ,
In love's, in nature's fpite, the siege they hold,
And scorn the filesh, the dev'l, and all but gold.
These write to lords , some mean reward to get,
As needy beggars sing at doors for meat.
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others wit:
'Tis chang’d, no doubt, from what it was before,
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Sense , paft thro' him, no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those confessors and martyrs,
Who live like Smt-n, or who die like Chartres,
Out-cant old Efdras, or out-drink his heir,
Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear;
Wicked as pages, who in early years
A& fins which Prisca's confeffor scarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon , for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make ;
Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell
In what commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my just offence ; Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave impuTime, that at laft matures a clap to pox, (dence: Whose gentle progress makes a calf an 'ox, And brings all natural events to pass, Hath made him an attorney of an ass. No young divine , new-benefic'd, can be More pert, more proud , more positive than he. What further could I wish the fop to do , But turn a wis, and scribble verses toos
Than are new-benefic'd ministers, he throws ,
Like nets or lime-twigs, wherefoe'er he goes,
His title of barrister on ev'ry wench ,
And wooes in language of the pleas and bench. * *
Words, words which would tear
The tender labyrinth of a maid's soft ear:
More', more than ten Sclavonians scolding , more
Than when winds in our ruin'd abbyes roar.
Then fick with poetry, and posseft with Muse
Thou waft, and mad I hop'd ; but men which chuse
Law pra&ice for meer gain; bold soul repute
Worse than imbrotheld ftrumpets prostitute.
Now like an owl-like watchman he must walk,
His hand still at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like prisoners, which wholé months will swear,
That only suretyship hath brought them there,
And to every suitor lye in every thing,
Like a king's favourite or like a king.
Like a wedge in a block, wring to the barre ,
Bearing like asses, and more shameless farre
Than carted whores , lye to the grave judge'; for
Bastardy abounds not in king's titles, nor
Simony and sodomy in church-men's lives,
As these things do in him; by these he thrives.
Shortly ( as th' sea ) he'll compass all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand.
Pierce the soft lab'rinth of a lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a wife , spread out his wily parts ,
Like nets or lime-twigs , for rich widows hearts ;
Call himself barrister to ev'ry wench,
And wooe in language of the pleas and bench?
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch , so venal and so vain :
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
"Tis such a bounty as was never known,
If Peter deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks , what praise, if Peter but supplies,
And what a folemn face if he denies !
Grave, as when pris'ners shake the head, and sweas
'Twas only suretyship that brought 'em there.
His office keeps your parchment fates entire ,
He starves with cold to save them from the fire;
For you he walks the streets thro' rain or dust,
For not in chariots Peter puts his trust;
he sweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witness he affc&ts your cause,
And lies to ev'ry lord in ev'ry thing,
Like a king's fayourite or like a king.
These are the talents that adorn them all,
From wicked Waters ev'n to godly**
Not more of simony beneath black gowns,
Nor more of baftardy in heirs to crowns.
In shillings and in pence at first they deal ;
And steal so little , few perceive they steal
Till like the sea, they compass all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand,