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Come, Thomas, give us t'other sonnet.-
Dear captain, pray
Was ever so absurd a thing?
What, at the pole to bid me sing !
Alas! search all the mountains round,
There's no Thalia to be found;
And Fancy, child of southern skies,
Averse the sullen region flies.
I scribble verses ! why you know
I left the Muses long ago,
Deserted all the tuneful band
To right the files, and study Bland.
Indeed in youth's fantastic prime
Misled I wander'd into rhyme,
And various sonnets penn’d in plenty
On every nymph from twelve to twenty;
Compar'd to roses, pinks and lilies,
The cheeks of Chloe and of Phillis ;
With all the cant you find in many
A still-born modern miscellany.
My lines—how proud was I to see 'em
Steal into Dodsley's new Museum,
Or in a letter fair and clean
Committed to the Magazine!
Our follies change—that whim is o'er-
The bagatelles amuse no more.
Know by these presents, that in fine
I quit all commerce with the Nine.
Love-strains, and all poetic matters,
Lampoons, epistles, odes, and satires,
These toys and trifles I discard,
And leave the bays to poet Ward.
Know, now to politics consign'd,
I give up all the busy mind;
Curious each pamphlet I peruse,
And sip my coffee o'er the news.
But à propos--for last Courant,
Pray thank the lady governante.
From Aix-pho! what is't-la Chapelle,
Of treaties now the gazettes tell ;
A peace unites the jarring powers,
And every trade will thrive, but our's.
Farewell, as wrong'd Othello said,
The plumed troops, and neighing steed!
The troops ! alas ! more havoc there
A peace will make, than all the war.
What crowds of heroes in a day
Reduc'd to starve on half their pay !
From Lowendhall 'twould pity meet,
And Saxe himself might weep to see't.
Already Fancy's active pow'r
Foreruns the near-approaching hour.
Methinks, curs'd chance! the fatal stroke
I feel, and seem already broke.
The park I saunter up and down,
Or sit upon a bench alone
Pensive and sadle juste portrait
D'ux pauvre capitaine reformé :
My wig, which shunn'd each ruder wind,
Toupee'd before, and bagg'd behind,
Which John was us'd with nicest art
To comb, and teach the curls to part,
Lost the belle air and jaunty pride,
Now lank depends on either side :
My hat grown white, and rusted o'er,
Once bien troussé with galon d'or;
My coat distain'd with dust and rain,
And all my figure quite campaign.
Tavern and coffee-house unwilling
To give me credit for a shilling :
Forbid by every scornful belle
The precincts of the gay
My vows, though breath'd in every ear,
Not een a chambermaid will hear:
No silver in my purse to pay
For opera-tickets, or the play:
No message sent to bid me come
A fortnight after to a drum :
No visits or receiv’d or pay'd,
No ball, ridotto, masquerade:
All pensive, heartless and chagrine
I sit, devoted prey to spleen ;
Shabbily fine with tarnish'd lace,
And hunger pictur'd in my face.
To you, dear Price, indulgent Heav'n
A gentler, happier lot has giv'n;
To you has dealt with bounteous hands
Palladian seats, and fruitful lands :
Then in my sorrows have the grace
To take some pity on my case ;
And as you know the times are hard,
Send a spruce valet with a card-
Your compliments, and beg I'd dine,
And taste your mutton and your wine ;
You'll find most punctual and observant,
Your most obliged humble servant,
Occasioned by a Translation of an Epistle of Horace. 1730,
BY THE REV. MR. STRAIGHT,
of Magdalen College, Oxford,
Time flies—so you and Horace sing,
From whence you many a moral bring,
To teach us how to steer our lives,
T'enjoy our bottles and our wives.
Young man, I well approve your notions, And wholly aim at your devotions. I hate your sour, canting rascals, That talk of Ember-weeks and Pascals; Black villains, who desire to wean us, From Bacchus' pleasures, and from Venus', To gain themselves a larger share, And fob us off with fast and prayer : And tell us none to Elysium go, Who do not plague themselves below,