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Walk sober off, before a sprightlier age
Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage:
Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease,
Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.




AGAIN? new tumults in my breast?
Ah, spare me, Venus ! let me, let me rest!
I am not now, alas! the man
As in the gentle reign of my queen Anne.
Ah! sound no more thy soft alarms,
Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms.
Mother too fierce of dear desires !
Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires :
To number five direct your doves,
There spread round Murray 1 all your blooming

Noble and young, who strikes the heart
With every sprightly, every decent part ;
Equal the injur'd to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend :
He, with a hundred arts refin'd,
Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind :
To him each rival shall submit,

1 Afterwards Lord Mansfield.

Make but his riches equal to his wit.
Then shall thy form the marble grace,
(Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the face :
His house, embosom'd in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love,
Shall glitter o'er the pendent green,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene:
Thither the silver sounding lyres
Shall call the smiling loves and young desires ;
There every grace and muse shall throng,
Exalt the dance, or animate the song ;
There youths and nymphs, in consort gay,
Shall hail the rising, close the parting day.
With me, alas ! those joys are o'er ;
For me the vernal garlands bloom no more.
Adieu ! fond hope of mutual fire,
The still believing, still renew'd desire :
Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,
And all the kind deceivers of the soul !
But why? ah! tell me, ah! too dear,
Steals down my cheek th' involuntary tear?
Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee ?
Thee, dress’d in fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow through th' extended dream;
Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,
And now you burst (ah, cruel!). from my arms,
And swiftly shoot along the mall,
Or softly glide by the canal ;
Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray,
And now on rolling waters snatch'd away.




Lest you should think that verse shall die

Which sounds the silver Thames along, Taught on the wings of truth to fly

Above the reach of vulgar song;

Though daring Milton sits sublime,

In Spenser native muses play; Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,

Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay

Sages and chiefs long since had birth

Ere Cæsar was or Newton nam'd; These rais'd new empires o'er the earth,

And those new heavens and systems fram'd.

Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died.
In vain they schem’d, in vain they bled !
They had no poet, and are dead.



Quid vetat et nosmet Lucilî scripta legentes
Quærere, num illius, num rerum dura negârit
Versiculos natura magis factos, et euntes



Yes, thank my stars ! as early as I knew
This town, I had the sense to hate it too;
Yet here, as e’en in hell, there must be still
One giant vice, so excellently ill,
That all beside one pities, not abhors ;
As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.

I grant that poetry's a crying sin;
It brought (no doubt) th’excise and army in :
Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows

how, 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 hate!

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 carv'd 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 sings the fair; but songs no longer move; No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love: In love's, in nature's spite the siege they hold, And scorn the flesh, the devil, 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 pass'd through him no longer is the same; For food digested takes another name.

I pass o'er all those confessors and martyrs, Who live like S—t—n, or who die like Chartres, Out-cant old Esdras, or out-drink his heir, Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear; Wicked as pages, who in early years Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears. E'en 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 im.


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