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To Poets Wine is inspiration,
Blockheads get drunk in Imitation.
As different Liquors different ways
Affect the body, sometimes raise
The fancy to an Eagle's flight,
And make the heart feel wondrous light;
At other times the circling mug,
Like Lethe's draught, or opiate drug,
Will strike the senses on a heap,
When Folks talk wife, who talk asleep;
A whimsical imagination,
Might form a whimsical relation,
How every Author writes and thinks
Analagous to what he drinks,
While quaint Conjecture's lucky hit,
Finds out his bev'rage in his Wit.
Ye goodly dray-nymph Muses, hail!
Mum, Porter, Stingo, Mild and Stale,
And chiefly thou of boasted fame,
Of Roman and IMPERIAL name.
O Purl! all hail ! thy vot’ry steals,
His stockings dangling at his heels,
To where some pendent head invites
The Bard to set his own to rights,
Who seeks thy influence divine,
And pours libations on thy shrine,
In wormwood draughts of inspiration,
To whet his soul for defamation.
Hail too, your Domes! whose Masters skill, Takes up illustrious folks at will, And careless or of place or name, Beheads and hangs to public fame Fine garter'd Knights, blue, red, or green, Lords, Earls and Dukes, nay King, or Queen, And sometimes pairs them both together, To dangle to the wind and weather; Or claps some mighty General there, Who has not any head to spare. Or if it more his fancy suit, Pourtrays or fish, or bird, or brute, And lures the gaping, thirsty guest, To Scott's entire, or TRUEMAN's beft.
Ye chequerid Domes thrice hail! for hence
The fire of Wit, the froth of Sense,
Here gentle Puns, ambiguous Joke,
Burst forth oracular in smoke,
And Inspiration pottle deep,
Forgets her sons, and falls alleep.
Hence issue Treatises and Rhymes,
The Wit and Wonder of the Times,
Hence Scandal, Piracies and Lies,
Defensive Pamphlets on Excise,
The murd'rous Articles of News,
And pert THEATRICAL Reviews, .
Hither, as to their Urns, repair,
Bard, Publisher, and minor Play'r,
And o’er the Porter's foaming head
Their venom'd malice nightly shed,
And aim their batteries of dirt
At Genius, which they cannot hurt.
Smack not their works, if verse or prose
Offend your eye, or ear, or nose,
So frothy, vapid, stale, hum drum,
Of STINGO, Porter, Purl and Mum?
And when the muse politely jokes,
Cannot you find the Lady smokes ?
And spite of all her inspiration,
Betrays her alehouse education ?
Alas! how very few are found,
Whose style tastes neat and full and found !
In Willmot's loose ungovern’d vein
There is, I grant, much burnt CHAMPAIGN,
And Dorset's lines all palates hit,
The very BURGUNDY of wit. .
But when, obedient to the mode
Of panegyric, courtly ode,
The bard bestrides his annual hack,
In vain I taste, and fip and smack,
I find no Alavour of the Sack.
But while I ramble and refine
On flavour, Style, and Wit and Wine,
Your Claret, which I would not waste,
Recalls me to my proper taste;
So ending, as 'tis more than time,
At once my Letter, glass and rhyme,
I take this bumper off to you,
'Tis SHEPERD's health-dear friend, adieu.
F A B E.
No author ever spar'd a brother :
“ Wits are game cocks to one another."
But no antipathy so strong,
Which acts so fiercely, lasts so long
As that which rages in the breast
Of critic, and of wit profest :
When, eager for some bold emprize,
WIT, Titan-like, affects the skies,
When, full of energy divine,
The mighty dupe of all the nine,
Bids his kite soar on paper wing,
The critic comes, and cuts the string ;
Hence dire contention often grows
'Twixt man of verse, and man of prose;
While prose-man deems the verse-man fool,
And measures wit by line and rule,
And, as he lops off fancy's limb,
Turns executioner of whirn;
While genius, which too oft disdains
To bear e'en honourable chains ;