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But let it (in a word) be said,
195 The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sat tête à tête.
Our courtier walks froin dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law,
200 · Que ça est bon! Ah goutez ça! That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing, Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in.' Was ever such a happy swain! He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again,
205 I'm quite asham'dm'uis mighty rude To eat so much-but all's so goodI have a thousand thanks to giveMy lord alone knows how to live.' No sooner said, but from the hall
210 Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all: • A rat, a rat! clap to the doorThe cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the art of Homer's mice, Or gods to save them in a trice!
215 (It was by Providence they think, For your damn'd stucco has no chink) • An't please your honour,' quoth the peasant, « This same desert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree,
220 A crust of bread and liberty!
St. John, whose love indulg'd my labours past,
Our generals now, retir'd to their estates,
A voice there is, that whispers in my ear, ('Tis reason's voice, which sometimes one can hear,) “ Friend Pope! be prudent, let your Muse take
breath, And never gallop Pegasus to death; Lest stiff and stately, void of fire or force,
15 You limp, like Blackmore, on a lord mayor's horse.
Farewell then verse, and love, and ev'ry toy, The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy; What right, what true, what fit,' we justly call, Let this be all my care-for this is all;
20 To lay this barvest up, and hoard with haste What ev'ry day will want, and most the last.
But ask not to what dociors I apply? Sworn to no master, of no sect am 1: As drives the storm, at any door I knock, 25 And house with Montaigne now, or now with Locke. Sometimes a patriot, active in debate, Mix with the world, and battle for the state; Free as young Lyttleton her cause pursue, Still true to virtue, and sometimes warm as true. 30 Sometimes with Aristippus or St. Paul, Indulge my candour, and grow all to all; Back to my native moderation slide, And win my way by yielding to the tide,
Long as to him who works for debt the day, Long as the night to her whose love's away, Long as the year's dull circle seems to run When the brisk minor pants for twenty-one; So slow th' unprofitable moments roll, That lock up all the functions of my soul; 40 That keep me from myself, and still delay Life's instant business to a future day; That task which as we follow or despise, The eldest is a fuol, the youngest wise ;
Our courtier walks froin dish to dish,
Luse belong, old song? peers, Poitiers ? 100
- Be but great, 10 fate; e with grace; h and place." Te eunuchs sing,
e a king. th steady view allow greatness through, ts th' example too? James's air,
110 the well-dress'd rabble stare; ndal at a spark e palace than the park; e answer Reynard gave; read sir! your royal cave;
if you're once a slave:
Which done, the poorest can no wants endure, 45
Late as it is, I put myself to school,
Say, does thy blood rebel, thy bosom move 55 With wretched avarice, or as wretched love? Know there are words and spells which can control, Between the fits, this fever of the soul; Know there are rhymes which, fresh and.fresh applied, Will cure the arrant'st puppy of his pride. 60 Be furious, envious, slothful, mad, or drunk, Slave to a wife, or vassal to a punk, A Switz, a High-Dutch or a Low-Dutch bear; All that we ask is but a patient ear. 'Tis the first virtue vices to abhor,
65 And the first wisdom to be fool no more: But to the world no bugbear is so great As want of figure and a small estate, To either India see the merchant fly, Scard at the spectre of pale poverty!
70 See him with pains of body, pangs of soul, Burn through the tropic, freeze beneath the pole! Wilt thou do nothing for a nobler end, Nothing to make philosophy thy friend? To stop thy foolish views thy long desires, And ease thy heart of all that it admires ? Here Wisdoin calls, “ Seek virtue first, be bold ! As gold to silver virtue is to gold." There London's voice, “ Get money, money still ! And then let virtue follow if she will.”
80 This, this the saving doctrine preach'd to all, From low St. James's up to high St. Paul; From him whose quills stand quiver'd at his ear, To him who notches sticks at Westininster.