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Thy genius, bounded by the times, like mine,
Drudges on petty draughts, nor dare design 135
A more exalted work, and more divine.
For what a song or senseless opera
Is to the living labour of a play;
Or what a play to Virgil's work would be,
Such is a single piece to History.

14.
But we, who life bestow, ourselves must live;
Kings cannot reign unless their subjects give;
And they who pay the taxes bear the rule :
Thus thou, sometimes, art forc'd to draw a fool:
But so his follies in thy posture sink,

145 The senseless ideot seems at lasť to think,

Good Heav'n! that sots and knaves should be so vain To wish their vile resemblance may remain! And stand recorded, at their own request, To future days a libel or a jest !

15? Else should we see your noble pencil trace Our unities of action, time, and place ; A whole compos'd of parts, and those the best, With ev'ry various character exprest; Heroes at large, and at a nearer view;

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Less, and at distance, an ignobler crew ;
While all the figures in one action join,
As tending to complete the main design.

More cannot be by mortal Art exprest,
But venerable Age shall add the rest :

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For Time shall with his ready pencil stand,
Retouch your figures with his rip’ning hand,
Mellow your colours, and imbrown the teint,
Add ev'ry grace which Time alone can grant;
To future ages shall your
And give more beauties than he takes away.

fame convey,

166

XVI.

A familiar Epistle to Mr. JULIAN, Secretary of the

Mufes.

Thou common shore of this poetic Town,
Where all the excrements of wit are thrown,
For sonnet, satire, bawdry, blasphemy,
Are emptied and disburden'd all in thee;
The chol'ric wight, untrussing all in rage, 5
Finds thee, and lays his load upon thy page.
Thou, Julian! or thou wise Vespasian rather,
Dost from this dung thy well-pick'd guineas gather ;
All mischief's thine: transcribing thou wilt stoop
From lofty Middlesex to lowly Scroop.
What times are these when, in the hero's room,
Bow-bending Cupid doth with ballads come,
And little Aston offers to the bum?
Can two such pigmies such a weight support,
Two such Tom Thumbs of satire in a court! 15
Poor George grows old, his Muse worn out of fashion,
Hoaisly he sung Ephelia's lamentation,

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Less art thou help'd by Dryden's bed-ride age,
That drone has lost his sting upon the stage.
Resolve me, poor Apostate! this my doubt,
What hope hast thou to rub this winter out?
Know, and be thankful then, for Providence
By me hath sent thee this intelligence.

A knight there is, if thou canst gain his grace,
Known by the name of the Hard-favour'd Face, 25
For prowess of the pen'renown'd is he,
From Don Quixote descended lineally;
And tho’, like him, unfortunate he prove,
Undaunted in attempts of wit and love:
Of his unfinish'd face what shall I say,

30 But that 'twas made of Adam's own red clay ?. That much, much ochre was on it bestow'd; God's image ?tis not, but some Indian god ; Our Christian earth can no resemblance bring, But ware of Portugal, for such a thing.

35 Such carbuncles his fiery face confess, As no Hungarian water can redress ; A face which, should he see, (but Heav'n was kind, And to indulge his self Love made him blind) He durst not stir abroad for fear to meet

40 Curses of teeming women in the street : The best could happen from this hideous sight; Is that they should miscarry with the frightHeav'n guard 'em from the likeness of the knight. j

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Such is our charming Strephon's outward man,

45 His inward parts let those disclose who can. One while he honoureth Birtha with his flame, And now he chants no less Lovisa's name ; For when his passion hath been bubling long, The scum at last boils up into a song: And sure no mortal creature, at one time, Was e'er so far o'ergone with love and rhyme, To his dear self of poetry he talks, His hands and feet are scanning as he walks ; His writling looks his pangs of wit accuse, 55 The airy symptoms of a breeding Muse,“ And all to gain the great Lovisa's grace, But never pen did pimp for such a face : There's not a nymph in city, town, or court, But Strephon's billet-doux has been their sport. 60 Still he loves on, yet still he's sure to miss, As they who wash an Ethiop's face or his. What fate unhappy Strephon does attend, Never to get a mistress nor a friend ? Strephon alike both wits and fools detest, 'Cause he's like Æsop's batt, half bird half beast; For fools to poetry have no pretence, And common wit supposes common sense : Not quite so low as fool, nor quite a top, He hangs between them both, and is a fop. His morals, like his wit, are motley too; He keeps from arrant koave with much ado ;

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But vanity and lying so prevail,
That one grain more of each would turn the scale.
He would be more a villain had he time,

75
But he's so wholly taken up with rhyme,
That he mistakes his talent, all his care
Is to be thought a Poet fiue and fair.
Small beer and gruel are his meat and drink,
The diet he prescribes himself to think; .

80 Rhyme, next his heart, he takes at the morn peep, Some love-epistles at the hour of sleep: So betwixt elegy and ode, we see Strephon is in a course of poetry. This is the man ordain'd to do thee good, The felican to feed thee with his blood; Thy wit, thy poet, nay, thy friend : for he Is fit to be a friend to none but thee, Make sure of him, and of his Muse, betimes, For all his study is hung round with rhymes, 90 Laugh at him, jotle him, yet still he writes; In rhyme he challenges, in rhyme he fights : Charg'd with the last and basest. infamy, His bus'ness is to think what rhymes to lie ; Which found, in fury he retorts again;

95 Strephon's a very dragon at his pen : His brother murder'd, and his mother whor'd, His mitress lost, and yet his pen's his sword.

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