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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,
• Commend it to the Stage."
'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?
A. Good friend forbear! you deal in dangerous things,
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
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,