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Next pleas’d his excellence a town to batter; (Its name I know not, and 'tis no great matter) 45“ Go on, my friend, (he cry's) see yonder walls ! “ Advance and conquer ! go where glory calls ! “ More honours, more rewards, attend the brave" Don't you remember what reply he gave ? “ D'ye think me, noble gen’ral, such a sot?
50 66 Let him take castles who has ne'er a graat.”
Bred up at home, full early I begun, To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' son. Besides, my father taught me from a lad, The better art to know the good from bad : 55 (And little sure imported to remove, To hunt for truth in Maudlin's learned grove.) But knottier points we knew not half so well, Depriv'd us soon of our paternal cell ; And certain laws, by suff'rers thought unjust, Deny'd all posts of profit or of trust : Hopes after hopes of pious papists fail'd, While mighty William's thund’ring arm prevail'd. For right hereditary tax'd and fin'd, He stuck to poverty
Ver. 57. in Maudlin's learned grove.] He had a partiality for this college in Oxford, in which he had spent many agreeable days with his friend Mr. Digby, who provided rooms for liim at that college.
Ver. 60. by suff'rers thought unjust,] By orders from government for the removal of Papists to a certain distance from the metropolis.
And me, the muses help'd to undergo it ;
Years following years, steal something ev'ry day,
75 This subtle thief of life, this paltry Time, What will it leave me, if it snatch my rhyme ? If ev'ry wheel of that unweary'd mill, That turn’d ten thousand verses, now stands still ? . But after all, what would
have me do? 80 When out of twenty I can please not two; When this heroics only deigns to praise, Sharp satire that, and that Pindaric lays ? One likes the pheasant'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 detests.
But grant I may relapse, for want of grace, Again to rhyme ; can London be the place? Who there his muse, or self, or soul attends, 90 In crowds, and courts, law, bus'ness, feasts, and friends?
My VER. 70. Monroes,] Dr. Monroe, physician to Bedlam hospital V£. 87. Oldfield-Dartineuf] Two celebrated gluttons.
My counsel sends to execute a deed :
peers give way, exalted as they are, Ev'n to their own s-r-v-nce in a car?
Go, lofty Poet! and in such a crowd, Sing thy sonorous verse but not aloud. Alas! to grottoes and to groves we run, To ease and silence, ev'ry muse's son: Blackmore himself, for any grand effort, Would drink and doze at Tooting or Earl's-Court. How shall I rhyme in this eternal roar ?
114; How match the bards whom none e'er match'd before?
The man, who stretch'd in Isis' calm retreat, To books and study gives sev'n years complete..
See ! :
Ver. 113. TontingEarl's-Court] Two villages within a few miles of London.
See! strow'd with learned dust, his nightcap on,
125. Composing songs, for fools to get by heart?
The Temple late two brother serjeants saw, Who deem'd each other oracles of law; With equal talents these congenial souls, One lull’d th’ Exchequer, and one stunn'd the Rolls; Each had a gravity would make you split, 131 And shook his head at MURRAY, as a wit. [quence,” “ 'Twas, Sir, your law,”and “ Sir, your elo“ Yours, Cowper's manner- :-and yours, Talbot's
Thus we dispose of all poetic merit, Yours Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit. Call Tibbald Shakespear, and he'll swear the Nine, Dear Cibber! never match'd one ode of thine. Lord! how we strut through Merlin's Cave, to see No poets there, but Stephen, you, and me.
Ver. 140. but Stephen,) - Mr. Stephen Duck, a modest and worthyman, esteemed by Mr. Pope. Queen Caroline chose this man for her favourite poet. By the interest of Mr. Spence, who had a sincere regard for Stephen Duck, whose life he wrote, and published his poems, he obtained the living of Byfleet in Surry. He was unfortunately drowned at Reading, 1756.
Walk with respect behind, while we at ease
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, 145 « And you shall rise up Otway for your pains." Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhyming race; And much must Hatter, if the whim should bite To court applause by printing what I write :
150 But let the fit pass o'er, I'm wise enough To stop my ears to their confounded stuff.
In vain, bad rhymers all mankind reject,
161 Nay tho' at court (perhaps) it find
grace: Such they'll degrade ; and sometimes, in its stead, In downright charity revive the dead; Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears, 165 Bright through the rubbish of some hundred years ; Command old words that long have slept, to wake, Words, that wise Bacon, or brave Raleigh spake;