Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

All Bedlam,

P.SHUT, fhut the door, good John ! fatigu'd I said,

Tye up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead. The Dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,

or Parnassus is let out: Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, They rave, recite, and madden round the land.

What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, thro' my Grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge, They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. No place is sacred, not the Church is free, Even Sunday Mines no Sabbath-day to me: Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme Happy! to catch me, just at Dinner-time.

Is there a Parson, much be-mus'd in beer, A maudling Poetess, a rhyming Peer, A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a Stanza, when he should engross? Is there, who lock'd from ink and paper, fcrawls With defperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All Ay to Twit'NAM, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy fon neglects the Laws, Impures to me and my damn'd works the cause : Poor Cornus fees his frantic wife elope, And curses Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

Friend to my Life ! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What Drop or Nostrum can this plague remove? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped, If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I! Who can't be filent, and who will not lye: To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, And to be grave, exceeds all power of face. I sit with fad civility, I read With honest anguish, and an aching'head; And drop at last, but in unwilling cars, This faving counsel, “ Keep your piece nine years."

Nine years! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lullid by soft Zephyrs thro' the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends:

« The piece, you think, is incorrect ! why take it, “ I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it."

Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound.

Pitholeon fends to me: “ You know his Grace, " I want a Patron; ask him for a Place." Pitholeon libell's meo" but here's a letter “ Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. “ Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, “ He'll write a Fournal, or he'll turn Diviñe.”

Bless me! a packet." Tis a stranger sues,
" A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse."
If I dislike it, “ Furies, death and rage !”.
If I approve,

• Commend it to the Stage."
There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends,
The players and I are, luckily, no friends.
Fir'd that the house reject him, “ 'Sdeath I'll print it,
“And shame the fools --Your int'rest, Sir, with Lintot.”
Lintot, dull rogue ! will think your price too much :
“ Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch.”
All my demurs but double his attacks ;
At last he whispers, “ Do; and we go snacks."
Glad of a quarrel, strait I clap the door,
Sir, let me see your works, and you no more.

'Tis sung, when Midas' Ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a King) His very Minister who spy'd them first, (Some say his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a forer case, When every coxcomb perks them in my face?

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

A. Good friend forbear! you deal in dangerous things,
I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings;
Keep close to Ears, and those let alles prick,
'Tis nothing--- P. Nothing ? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, DUNCIAD! let the secret pass,
That secret to each fool, that he's an Ass:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The Queen of Midas Nept, and so may I.

You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus ! round thee break,
Thou unconcern’d can'lt hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall’ry in convulsions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st un hook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a Scribler ? break one cobweb thro',
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew :
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Thron'd on the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of Aimsy lines !
Whom have I hurt ? has Poet yet, or Peer,
Lost the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer?
And has not Colly still his lord, and whore ?
His butchers Henly, his free-masons Moor?.
Does not one table Bavius fill admit?
Still to one Bilhop Philips seems a wit ?
Still Sappho---A. Hold; for God sake--you'll offend,
No names---be calm---learn prudence of a friend :
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like these---P. One Flatt'rer's worse than all.

Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
It is the slaver kills, and not the bite.
A fool quite angry is quite innocent :
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.

One dedicates in high heroic prose,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes :
One from all Grubstreet will my fame defend,
And more abusive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe.”

There are, who to my person pay their court : I cough like Horace, and, tho' lean, am short, Ammon's great fon one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and,“ Sir! you have an EyeGo' on, obliging creatures, make me fee All that disgrac'd my Betters, met in me. Say for my comfort, languishing in bed, “ Just so immortal Maro held his head :" And when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago.

Why did I write? what sin to me unknown Dipt me in ink, my parents, or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. I left no calling for this idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobey’d. 'The Muse but ferv'd to ease some friend, not Wife, To help me thro' this long disease, my Life, To second, ARBUTHNOT! thy Art and Care, And teach, the bring you preferv’d, to bear. VOL. III,


« ZurückWeiter »