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Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy! to catch me, just at Dinner-time.
Is there a Parson, much bemus'd in beer,

15
A maudlin Poetess, a rhyming Peer,
A Clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a Stanza, when he mould engrofs ?
Is there, who, lock’d from ink and paper, scrawls
With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? 20
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the Laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause :
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,

25 And curses Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What Drop or Noftrum can this plague remove ? Or which must end me, a Fool's wrath or love? 30 A dire dilemma ! either way I'm fped ; If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead. Seiz’d and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not lie:

To
VARIATIONS.
After ver. 20. in the MS.

Is there a Bard in durance? turn them free,
With all their brandish'd reams they run to me:
Is there a Prentice, having seen two plays,

Who would do something in his Sempftress' praiseVer. 29. in the ist Ed.

Dear Doétor, tell me, is not this a curse ?
Say, is their anger, or their friendship worse ?

To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, 35
And to be grave, exceeds all Power of face.
I fit with fad civility, I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This living counfel, “Keep your piece nine years." 40

Nine years ! cries he, who high in Drury-lane, Lull’d by soft Zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Teri ends, Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends : “ The piece, you think, is incorrect ? why take it, 45 “ I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it.”

Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound.

Pitholeon sends to me: “ You know his Grace : I want a Patron ; ask him for a Place.” Pitholeon libel'd me." but here's a letter Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. “ Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine, “ He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine.”

Bless me! a packet.-“ 'Tis a stranger fues, 55 “ A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse.” If I dislike it, “ Furies, death and rage !" If I approve, '“ Commend it to the Stage."

There

50

VARIATION.

Ver. 534

in the MS. If you refuse, he goes, as fates incline, To plague Sir Robert, or to turn Divine.

65

your

There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends,
The players and I are, luckily, no friends.

60 Fir'd that the house reject him, “ 'Sdeath I'll print it, “ And Mame the fools--Your interest, Sir, with Lintot." Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much :

Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch.”
All my demurs but double his attacks:
At last he whispers, “Do; and we go snacks."
Glad of a quarrel, strait I clap the door,
« Sir, let me see works and you no more.

'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a King)

70 His very Minister, who spy'd them first, (Some fay his Queen) was forc'd to speak, or buit. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, When every coxcomb perks them in my

face? A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dangerous things, I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings; Keep close to Ears, and those let afses prick, 'Tis nothing-P. Nothing ? if they bite and kick ? Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass, That secret to each fool, that he's an Ass :

80 The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?) The Queen of Midas Nept, and so may I.,

You think this cruel ? Take it for a rule, No creature smarts so little as a fool. Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break, 85 Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack:

Pit, VARJATION, Ver. 60. in the former Ed.

Cibber and I are luckily no friends.

90

95

100

Pit, box, and gallery, in convulsions hurld,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a Scribler ? Break one cobweb through,
He spins the flight, self-pleasing thread anew :
Destroy his fib or fophiftry, in vain,
'The creature 's at his dirty work again,
Thron’d on the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of Aimzy lines !
Whom have I hurt? has Poet yet, or Peer,
Lost the arch'd eyebrow, or Parnassian sneer?
And has not Colly still his lord, and whore ?
His butchers Henley, his free-masons Moor?
Does not one table Bavius still admit?
Still to one Bishop Philips seem a wit ?
Still Sappho-A. Hold; for God's fake-you'll offend,
No names—be calm-learn prudence of a friend :
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like these--P. One Flatterer's worse than all.
Of all mad creatures, if the learn’d are right, 105
It is the slaver kills, and not the bite.
A fool quite angry is quite innocent:
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.

One dedicates in high heroic profe, .
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes :
One from all Grubstreet will my fame defend,
And, more abusive, calls himself my friend.

This
VARIATION.
Ver. 111. in the MS.

For song, for filence some expect a bribe :
And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe !".

IIO I20

This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, “ Subscribe, subscribe !"
There are, who to my person pay

their court:

115 I cough like Horace, and, though leán, am short. Ammon’s great fon one shoulder had too high, Such Ovid's nose, and, “ Sir! you have an Eye!"Go on, obliging creatures, make me fee All that disgrac'd my Betters, met in me. Say for my comfort, languishing in bed, “ Just so immortal Maro held his head;" And when I die, be sure you let me know Great Homer dy'd three thousand years ago.

Why did I write? what sin to me unknown 125 Dipt me in ink, my parents', or my own? As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. I left no calling for this idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobey'd:

130 The

VARIATIONS.

Time, praise, or money, is the least they crave;

Yet each declares the other fool or knave. After ver. 124. in the MS.

But, friend, this shape, which You and Curll a admire, Came not from Ammon's son, but from my Sire o: And for my head, if you'll the truth excuse, I had it from my Mother “, not the Muse. Happy, if he, in whom these frailties join’d, Had heir'd as well the virtues of the inind. a Curll set up his head for a sign. b His Father was crooked. • His Mother was much affiicted with headachs.

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