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Such mimic Swift or Prior to their cost,
For in the rash attempt the fools are lost.

When once a genius breaks through common rules, Were ever yours,—be what you were before,
He leads an herd of imitating fools.
Be still yourself; the world can ask no more.

If Pope, the prince of poets, sick a-bed,
O'er steaming coffee bends his aching head,
The fools in public o'er the fragrant draught
Incline those heads, that never ach'd or thought.
This must provoke his mirth or his disdain,
Cure his complaint,--or make him sick again.
Itoo, like them, the poet's path pursue,
And keep great Flaccus ever in my view;
But in a distant view-yet what I write,
In these loose sheets, must never see the light;
Epistles, odes, and twenty trifles more,
Things that are born and die in half an hour.
"What! you must dedicate," says sneering Spence,
"This year some new performance to the prince :
Though money is your scorn, no doubt in time,
You hope to gain some vacant stall by rhyme;
Like other poets, were the truth but known,
You too admire whatever is your own."
These wise remarks my modesty confound,
While the laugh rises, and the mirth goes round;
Vext at the jest, yet glad to shun a fray,
I whisk into my coach, and drive away.


PREFIXED TO THE ESSAY ON POPE'S ODYSSEY. 'Tis done-restor'd by thy immortal pen, The critic's noble name revives again; Once more that great, that injur'd name we see Shine forth alike in Addison and thee.

Like curs, our critics haunt the poet's feast, And feed on scraps refus'd by every guest; From the old Thracian dog' they learn'd the way To snarl in want, and grumble o'er their prey. As though they grudg'd themselves the joys they feel,

Vex'd to be charm'd, and pleas'd against their will.
Such their inverted taste, that we expect
For faults their thanks, for beauties their neglect;
So the fell snake rejects the fragrant flowers,
But every poison of the field devours.

Like bold Longinus of immortal fame,
You read your poet with a poet's flame;
With his, your generous raptures still aspire;
The critic kindles when the bard's on fire.
But when some lame, some limping line demands
The friendly succour of your healing hands;
The feather of your pen drops balm around,
And plays, and tickles, while it cures the wound.

While Pope's immortal labour we survey,
We stand all dazzled with excess of day,
Blind with the glorious blaze;-to vulgar sight
'Twas one bright mass of undistinguish'd light;
But like the towering eagle, you alone
Discern'd the spots and splendours of the Sun.

To point out faults, yet never to offend : To play the critic, yet preserve the friend; A life well spent, that never lost a day; An easy spirit, innocently gay; A strict integrity, devoid of art; The sweetest manners, and sincerest heart;

'Zoilus, so called by the ancients.

A soul, where depth of sense and fancy meet; A judgment brighten'd by the beams of wit,

The cordon


A well-known vase of sovereign use I sing,
Pleasing to young and old, and Jordan hight,
The lovely queen, and eke the haughty king
Snatch up this vessel in the murky night :
Ne lives there poor, ne lives there wealthy wight,
But uses it in mantle brown or green;
Sometimes it stands array'd in glossy white;
And eft in mighty dortours may be seen

of China's fragile earth, with azure flowrets sheen.

The virgin, comely as the dewy rose,

Here gently sheds the softly-whispering rill;
The frannion, who ne shame ne blushing knows,
At once the potter's glossy vase does fill;
It whizzes like the waters from a mill.
Here frouzy housewives clear their loaded reins;
The beef-fed justice, who fat ale doth swill,
Grasps the round-handled jar, and tries, and

While slowly dribbling down the scanty water drains.

The dame of Fraunce shall without shame convey This ready needment to its proper place; Yet shall the daughters of the lond of Fay Learn better amenaunce and decent grace; Warm blushes lend a beauty to their face, For virtue's comely tints their cheeks adorn; Thus o'er the distant hillocks you may trace The purple beamings of the infant morn: Sweet are our blooming maids-the sweetest creatures born.

None but their husbands or their lovers true They trust with management of their affairs; Nor even these their privacy may view, When the soft beavys seek the bower by pairs: Then from the sight accoy'd, like timorous hares, From mate or bellamour alike they fly; [airs, Think not, good swain, that these are scornful Think not for hate they shun thine amorous eye, Soon shall the fair return, nor done thee youth, to dye.

While Belgic frows across a charcoal stove (Replenish'd like the Vestal's lasting fire) [love, Bren for whole years, and scorch'd the parts of No longer parts that can delight inspire, Erst cave of bliss, now monumental pyre; O British maid, for ever clean and neat, From whom I aye will wake my simple lyre, With double care preserve that dun retreat, Fair Venus' mystic bower, Dan Cupid's feather'd


So may your hours soft-sliding steal away,
Unknown to gnarring slander and to bale,
O'er seas of bliss peace guide her gondelay,
Ne bitter dole impest the passing gale.
O! sweeter than the lilies of the dale,

In your soft breasts the fruits of joyance grow. Ne fell despair be here with visage pale, Brave be the youth from whom your bosoms glow, Ne other joy but you the faithful striplings know.



To all my trifles you attend, But drop the critic to indulge the friend, And with most Christian patience lose your time, To hear me preach, or pester you with rhyme. Here with my books or friend I spend the day, But how at Kingston pass your hours away? Say, shall we see some plan with ravish'd eyes, Some future pile in miniature arise ? (A model to excel in every part Judicious Jones, or great Palladio's art) Or some new bill, that, when the house is met, Shall claim their thanks, and pay the nation's debt? Or have you studied in the silent wood The sacred duties of the wise and good? Nature, who form'd you, nobly crown'd the whole With a strong body, and as firm a soul: The praise is yours to finish every part With all th' embellishments of taste and art. Some see in canker'd heaps their riches roll'd, Your bounty gives new lustre to your gold. Could your dead father hope a greater bliss, Or your surviving parent more than this? Than such a son-a lover of the laws, And ever true to honour's glorious cause: Who scorns all parties, though by parties sought: Who greatly thinks, and truly speaks his thought: With all the chaste severity of sense, Truth, judgment, wit, and manly eloquence. So in his youth great Cato was rever'd, By Pompey courted, and by Cæsar fear'd: Both he disdain'd alike with godlike pride, For Rome and Liberty he liv'd-and dy'd. In each perfection as you rise só fast, Well may you think each day may be your last. Uncommon worth is still with fate at strife, Still inconsistent with a length of life. The future time is ever in your power, Then 'tis clear gain to seize the present hour; Break from the serious thought, and laugh away In Pimpern walls one idle easy day. You'll find your rhyming kinsman well in case, For ever fix'd to the delicious place. Tho' not like Lwith corpulence o'ergrown, For he has twenty cures, and I but one.



HEALTH from the bard who loves the rural sport,
To the more noble bard that haunts the court:
In every other point of life we chime,
Like too soft lines when coupled into rhyme.
I praise a spacious villa to the sky,
You a close garret full five stories high;
I revel here in Nature's varied sweets,
You in the nobler scents of London streets.
I left the court, and here at ease reclin'd,
Am happier than the king who staid behind :
Twelve stifling dishes I could scarce live o'er,
At home I dine with luxury on four.
Where would a man of judgement chuse a seat,
But in a wholesome, rural, soft retreat,

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Where hills adorn the mansion they defend?
Where could he better answer Nature's end?
Here from the sea the melting breezes rise,
Unbind the snow, and warm the wintry skies:
Here gentle gales the dog-star's heat allay,
And softly breathing cool the sultry day.
How free from cares, from dangers and affright,
In pleasing dreams I pass the silent night!
Does not the variegated marble yield
To the gay colours of the flowery field?
Can the New-river's artificial streams,
Or the thick waters of the troubled Thames,
In many a winding rusty pipe convey'd,
Or dash'd and broken down a deep cascade,
With our clear silver streams in sweetness vie,
That in eternal rills run bubbling by;
In dimpies o'er the polish'd pebbles pass,
Glide o'er the sands, or glitter through-the grass
And yet in town the country prospects please,
Where stately colonades are flank'd with trees:
On a whole country looks the master down
With pride, where scarce five acres are his own.
Yet Nature, though repell'd, maintains her part,

And in her turn she triumphs over art;

The hand-maid now may prejudice our taste,
But the fair mistress will prevail at last.

That man must smart at last whose puzzled sight>
Mistakes in life false colours for the right;
As the poor dupe is sure his loss to rue,
The wretch, whose frantic pride kind Fortune
Who takes a Pinchbeck guinea for a true. [crowns,
Grows twice as abject when the goddess frowns;
As he, who rises when his head turns round,
Must tumble twice as heavy to the ground.
Then love not grandeur, 'tis a splendid curse;
The more the love, the harder the divorce.
We live far happier by these gurgling springs,
Than statesmen, courtiers, counsellors, or kings,
The stag expell'd the courser from the plain;
What can he do?-he begs the aid of man;
He takes the bit and proudly bears away
His new ally; he fights and wins the day:
But, ruin'd by success, he strives in vain
To quit his master and the curb again.
So from the fear of want most wretches fly,
But lose their noblest wealth, their liberty;
To their imperious passions they submit,
Who mount, ride, spur, but never draw the bit.
"Tis with your fortune, Spence, as with your shoe,
A large may wrench, a small one wring your toe.
Then bear your fortune in the golden mean,
Not every man is born to be a dean.
I'll bear your jeers, if ever I am known
To seek two cures, when scarce I merit one.
Riches, 'tis true, some service may afford,
But oftner play the tyrant o'er their lord.
Money I scorn, but keep a little still,
To pay my doctor's, or my lawyer's bill.
From Encombe's soft romantic scenes I write,
Deep sunk in ease, in pleasure and delight;
Yet, though her gen'rous lord himself is here,
'Twould be one pleasure more, could you appear.

If you can leave for books the crowded court,
And generous Bourdeaux for a glass of port,
To these sweet solitudes without delay
Break from the world's impertinence away.

Soon as the Sun the face of Nature gilds, For health and pleasure will we range the fields; O'er her gay scenes and opening beauties run, While all the vast creation is our own. But when his golden globe with faded light Yields to the solemn empire of the night; And in her sober majesty the Moon With milder glories mounts her silver throne; Amidst ten thousand orbs with splendour crown'd, That pour their tributary beams around ; Through the long levell'd tube our strengthen'd sight Shall mark distinct the spangles of the night; From world to world shall dart the boundless eye, And stretch from star to star, from sky to sky.

The buzzing insect families appear, When suns unbind the rigour of the year; Quick glance the myriads round the evening bower, Hosts of a day, or nations of an hour. Astonish'd we shall see th' unfolding race, Stretch'd out in bulk, within the polish'd glass; Through whose small convex a new world we spy, Ne'er seen before, but by a seraph's eye! So long in darkness shut from human kind Lay half God's wonders to a point contin'd ! But in one peopled drop we now survey In pride of power some little monster play; O'er tribes invisible he reigns alone, And struts a tyrant of a world his own.

Now will we study Homer's awful page, Now warm our souls with Pindar's noble rage: To English lays shall Flaccus' lyre be strung, And lofty Virgil speak the British tongue. Immortal Virgil! at thy sacred name I tremble now, and now I pant for fame; With eager hopes this moment I aspire To catch or emulate thy glorious fire; The next pursue the rash attempt no more, But drop the quill, bow, wonder, and adore; By thy strong genius overcome and aw'd! That fire from Heaven! that spirit of a god! Pleas'd and transported with thy name I tend Beyond my theme, forgetful of my friend; And from my first design by rapture led, Neglect the living poet for the dead.



SPENCE, with a friend you pass the hours away
In pointed jokes, yet innocently gay:
You ever differ'd from a flatterer inore,
Than a chaste lady from a flaunting whore.

'Tis true you rallied every fault you found, But gently tickled, while you cur'd the wound: Unlike the paultry poets of the town, Rogues who expose themselves for half a crown: And still impose on every soul they meet Rudeness for sense, and ribaldry for wit: Who, though half-starv'd, in spite of time and place, Repeat their rhymes, though dinner stays for grace: And as their poverty their dresses fit, They think of course a sloven is a wit; But sense (a truth these coxcombs ne'er suspect) Lies just 'twixt affectation and neglect.

One step still lower, if you can, descend, To the mean wretch, the great man's humble friend;

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""Tis strange," cries Peter, “ you are out of I'm sure I thought you wiser than myself;" Yet gives him nothing-but advice too late, Retrench, or rather mortgage your estate, I can advance the sum,-'tis best for both; But henceforth cut your coat to match your cloth. A minister, in mere revenge and sport, Shall give his foe a paltry place at court, The dupe for every royal birth-day buys New horses, coaches, clothes, and liveries; Plies at the levee, and distinguish'd there Lives on the royal whisper for a year; His wenches shine in Brussels and brocade! And now the wretch, ridiculously mad, Draws on his banker, mortgages and fails, Then to the country runs away from jails: There, ruin'd by the court, he sells a vote To the next burgess, as of old he bought; Rubs down the steeds which once his chariot bore, Or sweeps the town, which once he serv'd before.

But, by this roving meteor led, I tend Beyond my theme, forgetful of my friend. Then take advice; I preach not out of time, When good lord Middlesex is bent on rhyme.

Their humour check'd, or inclination cross'd, Sometimes the friendship of the great is lost. Unless call'd out to wench, be sure comply, Hunt when he hunts, and lay the Fathers by: For your reward you gain his love, and dine On the best venison and the best French wine : Nor to lord ****** make the observation, How the twelve peers have answer'd their creation, Nor in your wine or wrath betray your trust, Be silent still, and obstinately just: Explore no secrets, draw no characters, For Echo will repeat, and walls have ears: Nor let a busy fool a secret know,

A secret gripes him till he lets it go: Words are like bullets, and we wish in vain, When once discharg'd, to call them back again. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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He gives his word—then all your hopes are gone : He gives his honour-then you're quite undone. His and some women's love the same are found; You rashly board a fireship, and are drown'd.

Most folks so partial to themselves are grown, They hate a temper differing from their own. The grave abhor the gay, the gay the sad, And formalists pronounce the witty mad: The sot, who drinks six bottles in a place, Swears at the flinchers who refuse their glass. Would you not pass for an ill-natured man, Comply with every humour that you can. Pope will instruct you how to pass away Your time like him, and never lose a day;

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| From hopes or fears your quict to defend,
To all mankind as to yourself a friend,
And, sacred from the world, retir'd, unknown,
To lead a life with mortals like his own.
When to delicious Pimperne I retire,
What greater bliss, my Spence, can I desire?
Contented there my easy hours I spend
With maps, globes, books, my bottle, and a friend.
There can I live upon my income still,
F'en though the house should pass the Quakers' bill:
Yet to my share should some good prebend fall,
I think myself of size to fill a stall.
For life or wealth let Heaven my lot assign,
A firm and even soul shall still be mine.

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