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For, though the Muse delights in fiction,
She ne'er inspires against conviction.
Then keep your virtue still unmixt,
And let not faction come betwixt:
By party-steps no grandeor climb at,
Though it would make you England's primate:
First learn the science to be dull,
You then may soon your conscience lull;
If not, however seated high,
Your genius in your face will fly.
When Jove was from his teeming head
Of Wit's fair goddess brought to bed,
There follow'd at his lying-in
For afterbirth a sooterkin;
Which, as the nurse pursued to kill,
Attain'd by flight the Muses' hill,
There in the soil began to root,
And litter'd at Parnassus' foot.
From hence the critick vermin sprung,
With harpy claws and poisonous tongue;
Who fatten on poetick scraps,
Too cunning to be caught in traps.
Dame Nature, as the learned show,
Provides each animal its foe;
Hounds hunt the hare, the wily fox
Devours your geese, the wolf your flocks.
Thus Envy pleads a natural claim
To persecute the Muses' fame;
On poets in all times abusive,
Frorn Homer down to Pope inclusive.
Yet what avails it to complain ?
You try to take revenge in vain.
A rat your utmost rage defies,
That safe behind the wainscot lies,
Say, did you ever know by sight
In cheese an individual mite?
Show me the same numerick flea,
That bit your neck but yesterday :
You then may boldly go in quest
To find the Grub-street poets' nest;
What spunging house, in dread of jail,
Receives them, while they wait for bail;
What alley they are nestled in,
To flourish o'er a cup of gin;
Find the last garret where they lay,
Or cellar where they starve to-day.
Suppose you had them all trepann'd,
With each a libel in his hand,
What punishment would you inflict?
Or call them rogues, or get them kickt?
These they have often try'd before ;
You but oblige them so much more:
Themselves would be the first to tell,
To make their trash the better sell,
You have been libell'd-Let us know,
What fool officious told you so?
Will you regard the hawker's cries,
Who in his titles always lies?
Whate'er the noisy scoundrel says,
It might be something in your praise :
And praise bestow'd in Grub-street rhynies
Would vex one more a thousand times..
Till criticks blame, and judges praise,
The poet cannot claim his bays.
On me when dunces are satirick,
I take it for a panegyrick.
Hated by fools, and fools to hate,
Be that my motto, and my fate.
DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING A BIRTH DAY
To form a juist and finish'd piece,
Take twenty gods of Rome or Greece,
Whose godships are in chief request,
And fit your present subject best :
And, should it be
To have both male and female race,
Your business must be to provide
A score of goddesses beside.
Some call their monarchs sons of Saturn,
For which they bring a modern pattern;
Because they might have heard of one,
Who often long'd to eat his son:
But this, I think, will not go down,
For here the father kept his crown.
Why, then, appoint him son of Jove,
Who met his mother in a grove:
To this we freely shall consent,
Well knowing what the poets meant ;
And in their sense, 'twixt me and you,
It may be literaily true.
Next, as the laws of verse require,
He must be greater than his sire;.
For Jove, as every schoolboy knows,
Was able Saturn to depose;
And sure no Christian poet breathing
Would be more scrupulous than a Heathen!
Or, if to blasphemy it tends,
That's but a trifle among friends.
Your hero now another Mars is,
Makes mighty armies turn their a--S.
Behold his glittering faulchion mow
Whole squadrons at a single blow ;
While Victory, with wings outspread,
Flies, like an eagle, o'er his head;
His milkwhite steed upon its haunches,
Or pawing into dead men's paunches :
As Overton has drawn his sire,
Still seen o'er many an alehouse fire.
Theu from his arms hoarse thunder rolls,
As loud as fifty mustard bowls :
For thunder still his arm supplies,
And lightning always in his eyes.
They both are cheap enough in conscience,
And serve to echo rattling nonsense.
The rumbling words march fierce along,
Made trebly dreadful in your song.
Sweet poet, hir'd for birthday rhymes,
To sing of wars, choose peaceful times.
What though, for fifteen years and more,
Janus has lock'd his temple door ;
Though not a coffeehouse we read in
Has mention'd arms on this side Sweden;
Nor London Journals, nor the Postmen,
Though fond of warlike lies as most men;
Thou still with battles stuff thy head full:
For, must thy hero not be dreadful?
Dismissing Mars, it next must follow
Your conqueror is become Apollo :
That he's Apollo is as plain as
That Robin Walpole is Mæcenas ;
But that, he struts, and that he squints,
You'd know him by Apollo's prints.
Old Phoebus is but half as bright,
For yours, can shine both day and night.
The first, perhaps, may once an age
Taspire you with poetick rage;
Your Phæbus Royal, every day,
Not only can inspire, but pay.
Then make this new Apollo sát Sole patron, judge, and god of wit. • How from his altitude he stoops To raise up Virtue when she droops ; * On Learning how his bounty flows, And with what justice hre bestows : Fair Isis, and ye banks of Cam! Be witness if I tell a fiam. What prodigies in arts we drain, From both your streams, in George's reigts. As from the flowery bed of Nile' But here's enough to show your style. Broad innuendoes, such as this, If well applied, can bardly miss : For, when you bring your song in print, He'll get it read, and take the hint, (It must be read before 'tis warbled, The paper gilt, and cover marbled) And will be so much more your debtor, Because he never knew a letter. And, as he hears his wit and sense (To which he never made pretence) Set out in hyperbolick strains, A guinea shall reward your pains : For patrons never pay so well, As when they scarce have learn'd to spell.
Next call him Neptune: with his trident He rules the sea ; you see him ride in't; And, if provok’d, he soundly firks his Rebellious waves with rods, like Xerxes. He would have seiz'd the Spanish plate, Had not the feet gone out too late; And in their very ports besiege them, But that he would not disoblige them; And make the rascals
him dearly For those affronts they give him yearly.
'Tis not deny'd, that, when we write, Our ink is black, qur paper white: