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Why had not I in those good times my birth,
Unworthy he, the voice of fame to hear,
tell Thou hast at least bestow'd one penny well.
Right," cries His Lordship, “for a rogue in need “ To have a taste, is insolence indeed : “ In me 'tis noble, suits my birth and state, “ My wealth unwieldy, and my heap too great." Then, like the sun, let bounty spread her ray, 115 And shine that superfluity away. Oh impudence of wealth! with all thy store, How dar’st thou let one worthy man be poor? Shall half the new-built churches round thee fall ? Make keys, build bridges, or repair Whitehall : Or to thy country let that heap be lent, As M**o's was, but not at five per cent.
Ver. 122. As M**o's was,] Duke of Marlborough.
Who thinks that fortune cannot change her mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And who stands safest ? tell me, is it he 125 That spreads and swells in puff'd prosperity, Or blest with little, whose preventing care In peace provides fit arms against a war ? Thus Bethel spoke, who always speaks his
thought, And always thinks the very thing he ought : 130 His equal mind I copy what I can, And as I love, would imitate the man, In South-Sea days not happier, when surmis'd The lord of thousands, than if now excis'd; In forest planted by a father's hand,
135 Than in five acres now of rented land. Content with little, I can piddle here On brocoli and mutton, round the year ; But ancient friends (tho' poor, or out of play) That touch my bell, I cannot turn away. 140 'Tis true, no turbots dignify my boards, But gudgeons, founders, what my Thames affords : To Hounslow-heath I point, and Bansted-down, Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my own; From
yon old walnut-tree a show'r shall fall ; 145 And grapes, long ling'ring on my only wall, And figs from standard and espalier join s The dev'l is in
you cannot dine ; Then cheerful healths, (your mistress shall have place,) And, what's more rare, a poet
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast ? Tho' double tax’d, how little have I lost? My life's amusements have been just the same, Before and after standing armies came. My lands are sold, my father's house is gone ; 155 I'll hire another's; is not that my own, And yours, my friends ? through whose free op'ning
gate None comes too early, none departs too late ; (For I, who hold sage Homer's rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest.) 160 “ Pray Heav'n it last! (cries Swift) as you go on « I wish to God this house had been your own:
Pity! to build, without a son or wife : “ Why, you'll enjoy it only all your life.” Well, if the use be mine, can it concern one, 165 Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon ? What's property dear Swift ! you see it alter From
you to me, from me to Peter Walter ; Or, in a mortgage, prove a lawyer's share ; Or, in a jointure, vanish from the heir ;
170 Or, in pure equity, (the case not clear,) The Chanc'ry takes your rents for twenty year : At best, it falls to some ungracious son, Who cries, “ My father's damn’d, and all's my own.
Ver. 152. double tax'd,] An additional tax was laid on the estates of papists and nonjurors.
Shades, that to Bacon could retreat afford, 175
VER. 175. tbat to Bacon could] Gorhambury, near St. Alban's, a fine and ven-rable old mansion.
Ver. 177. proud Buckingham's, &c.] Villiers Duke of Buckingham.
THE FIRST EPISTLE
FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.
TO LORD BOLINGBROKE.
ST. John, whose love indulg'd my labours past,
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 “ And never gallop Pegasus to death ; [breath, “ Lest stiff, and stately, void of fire or force,
15 " You limp, like Blackmore on a Lord Mayor's " horse.”
Ver. 3. Sabbath of my days ?] 1. e. The 49th year, the age of the author.