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h But after all, what would you have me do? When out of twenty I can please not two;
When this Heroics only deigns to praife,
Sharp Satire that, and that Pindaric lays?
One likes the Pheafant's wing, and one the leg;
The vulgar boil, the learned roast an egg.
Hard task! to hit the palate of such guests,
When Oldfield loves, what Dartineuf detefts.
i But grant I may relapfe, for want of Again to rhyme: can London be the place? Who there his Mufe, or felf, or foul attends,
In crouds, and courts, law, bufinefs, feafts, and friends?
My counsel fends to execute a deed:
A Poet begs me I will hear him read:
In Palace-yard at nine you'll find me there—
At ten for certain, Sir, in Bloomsbury square-
Before the Lords at twelve my Caufe comes on-
There's a Rehearfal, Sir, exact at one.
Denique non omnes eadem mirantur amantque.
Carmine tu gaudes: hic delectatur iambis ;
Ille Bioneis fermonibus, et fale nigro.
Tres mihi convivae prope diffentire videntur,
Pofcentes vario multum diverfa palato.
Quid dem ? quid non dem ? renuis quod tu, jubet alter:
Quod petis, id fane eft invifum acidumque duobus.
i Praeter caetera me Romaene poemata cenfes
Scribere poffe, inter tot curas totque labores?
Hic fponfum vocat, hic auditum fcripta, relictis
Omnibus officiis: cubat hic in colle Quirini,
"Oh but a Wit can study in the streets,
"And raise his mind above the mob he meets."
Not quite fo well however as one ought;
A hackney-coach may chance to spoil a thought;
And then a nodding beam, or pig of lead,
God knows, may hurt the very ablest head.
Have you not feen, at Guildhall's narrow pass,
Two Aldermen dispute it with an Ass?
And Peers give way, exalted as they are,
Ev'n to their own S-r-v-nce in a Car?
k Go, lofty Poet! and in fuch a croud,
Sing thy fonorous verfe-but not aloud.
Alas! to Grottoes and to Groves we run,
To eafe and filence, every Mufe's fon :
Blackmore himself, for any grand effort,
Would drink and doze at Tooting or Earl's-Court.
How shall I rhyme in this eternal roar?
How match the bards whom none e'er match'd before?
Hic extremo in Aventino; vifendus uterque.
Intervalla vides humane commoda. "Verum
"Purae funt plateae, nihil ut meditantibus obftet."
Feftinat calidus mulis gerulifque redemtor :
Torquet nunc lapidem, nunc ingens machina tignum
Triftia robuftis luctantur funera plauftris :
Hac rabiofa fugit canis, hac lutulenta ruit fus.
k I nunc, et verfus tecum meditare canoros.
Scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus, et fugit urbes,
Rite cliens Bacchi, fomno gaudentis et umbra.
1 The Man, who, ftretch'd in Ifis' calm retreat, To books and study gives seven years complete, See! ftrow'd with learned duft, his nightcap on, He walks, an object new beneath the fun!
The boys flock round him, and the people ftare: 120
So ftiff, fo mute! fome ftatue you would fwear,
Stept from its Pedestal to take the air!
And here, while town, and court, and city roars,
With mobs, and duns, and foldiers, at their doors;
Shall I, in London, act this idle part?
Compofing fongs, for Fools to get by heart?
m The Temple late two brother Sergeants faw, Who deem'd each other Oracles of Law; With equal talents, thefe congenial fouls, One lull'd th' Exchequer, and one ftunn'd the Rolls; Each had a gravity would make you split, And shook his head at Murray, as a Wit.
Tu me inter ftrepitus nocturnos atque diurnos
Vis canere, et contracta fequi veftigia vatum ?
1 Ingenium, fibi quod vacuas defumfit Athenas,
Et ftudiis annos feptem dedit, infenuitque
Libris et curis, ftatua taciturnius exit
Plerumque, et rifu populum quatit; hic ego rerum
Fluctibus in mediis, et tempeftatibus urbis,
Verba lyrae motura fonum connectere digner?
m Frater erat Romae confulti rhetor; ut alter
Alterius fermone meros audiret honores :
Gracchus ut hic illi, foret huic ut Mucius ille.
Qui minus argutos vexat furor ifte poetas?
'Twas, "Sir, your law"-" and "Sir, your eloquence,” "Yours, Cowper's manner-and yours, Talbot's fenfe." n Thus we difpofe of all poetic merit, Yours Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit. Call Tibbald Shakespeare, and he'll swear the Nine, Dear Cibber! never match'd one Ode of thine. Lord! how we ftrut through Merlin's Cave, to fee No Poets there, but Stephen, you, and me. Walk with respect behind, while we at ease
Weave laurel Crowns, and take what names we please. "My dear Tibullus!" if that will not do,
"Let me be Horace, and be Ovid you :
"Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains,
"And you fhall rife up Otway for your pains."
Much do I fuffer, much, to keep in peace
This jealous, wafpifh, wrong-head, rhyming race;
n Carmina compono, hic elegos; mirabile vifu,
Caelatumque novem Mufis opus, afpice primum,
Quanto cum faftu, quanto molimine circum-
fpectemus vacuam Romanis vatibus aedem.
Mox etiam (fi forte vacas) fequere, et procul audi,
Quid ferat, et quare fibi nectat uterque coronam.
Caedimur et totidem plagis confumimus hoftem,
Lento Samnites ad lumina prima duello.
Difcedo Alcaeus puncto illius; ille meo quis?
Quis, nifi Callimachus? fi plus adpofcere vifus :
Fit Mimnermus, et optivo cognomine crefcit.
Multa fero, ut placem genus irritabile vatum,
Cum fcribo, et fupplex populi fuffragia capto:
And much muft flatter, if the whim should bite
To court applaufe by printing what I write :
But let the fit pass o'er, I'm wife enough
To ftop my ears to their confounded stuff.
• In vain, bad Rhymers all mankind reject,
They treat themfelyes with most profound respect;
'Tis to fmall purpofe that you hold your tongue,
Each prais'd, within, is happy all day long:
But how feverely with themselves proceed
The men, who write fuch Verfe as we can read?
Their own ftrict Judges, not a word they spare,
That wants or force, or light, or weight, or care,
Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place,
Nay though at Court (perhaps) it may find grace:
Such they'll degrade; and fometimes, in its stead,
P In downright charity revive the dead;
Idem, finitis ftudiis, et mente recepta,
Obturem patulas impune legentibus aures.
• Ridentur mala qui componunt carmina: verum
Gaudent fcribentes, et fe venerantur, et ultro,
Si taceas, laudant; quidquid fcripfere, beati.
At qui legitimum cupiet feciffe poema,
Cum tabulis animum cenforis fumet honesti :
Audebit quaecunque parum fplendoris habebunt,
Et fine pondere erunt, et honore indigna ferentur,
Verba movere loco; quamvis invita recedant,
Et verfentur adhuc intra penetralia Vestae :
P Obfcurata diu populo bonus eruet, atque
Proferet in lucem fpeciofa vocabula rerum,