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To Dr DELANY, on the Libels
written against him.
-Tanti tibi non fit opaci
Omnis arena Tagi.
Written in the year 1729.
S fome raw youth in country bred,
To arms by thirst of honour led,
When at a skirmith first he hears
The bullets whistling round his ears,
Will duck his head afide, will start,
And feel a trembling at his heart ;
Till 'scaping oft without a wound
Lesiens the terror of the found;
Fly bullets now as thick as hops,
He runs into a canon's chops :
An author thus who pants for fame,
Begins the world with fear and shame:
When first in print you see him dread
Each pop.gun levell’d at his head :
The lead yon critic's quill contains,
Is destin'd to beat out his brains.
As if he heard loud thunders roll,
Cries, Lord, have mercy on his foul !
Concluding, that another shot
Will strike him dead
But, when with squibbing, flashing, popping,
He cannot see one creature dropping ;
That, milling fire, or misfing aim,
His life is safe, I mean his fame ;
The danger past, takes heart of grace,
And looks a critic in the face.
Tho' splendor gives the faireft mark
To poison'd arrows from the dark,
Yet, in your self when smooth and round,
They glance afide without a wound.
'Tis faid, the gods try'd all their art,
How Pain they might from Pleasure part ;
But little could their strength avail;
Both still are fasten’d by the tail.
Thus Fame and Censure with a tether
By fate are always link'd together.
Why will you aim to be preferr'd
In wit before the common herd ?
And yet grow mortify'd and vexd
To pay the penalty annex'd ?
'Tis eminence makes envy rise;
As faireft fruits attract the flies.
Should ftupid libels grieve your mind,
You foon a remedy may find ;
Lie down obscure like other folks
Below the lash of snarlers jokes.
Their faction is five hundred odds ;
For every coxcomb lends them rods ;
And sneers as learnedly as they ;
Like females o'er their morning-tea.
You fay, the muse will not contain,
And write you must, or break a vein.
Then, if you find the terms too hard,
No longer my advice regard :
But raise your fancy on the wing ;
The Irish fenate's praises fing;
How jealous of the nation's freedom,
And for corruptions, how they weed 'em ;
How each the public good pursues,
How far their hearts from private views ;
In saipse sotus teres atque rotundus.
Make all true patriots up to shoe boys
Huzza their brethren at the Blue-boys * ;
Thus grown a member of the club,
No longer dread the rage of Grub.
How oft am I' for rhyme to seek !
To dress a thought, I toil a week :
And then how thankful to the town,
If all my pains will earn a crown !
every critic can devour
My work and me in half an hoor.
Would men of genius cease to write,
The rogues must die for want and spite ;
Muft die for want of food and raiment,
If fcandal did not find them payment.
How chearfully the hawkers cry
A fatire, and the gentry boy!
Unfold upon the printer's lines.
A genius in the rev'rend gown
Must ever keep its owner down ;
Tis an unnatural conjunction,
And spoils the credit of the fundion.
Round all your brethren cast your eyes ;
Point out the fureft men to rife;
That club of candidates in black,
The least deferving of the pack,
Aspiring, factious, fiercè, and loud,
With grace and learning unendu'd,
Can turn their hands to ev'ry job,
The fittest tools to work for Bob ti
Will sooner coin a thousand lies,
Than suffer men of parts to rise ;
• The Irish parliament fat at the Blue-boys hospital, while the new parliament-house was building.
† Šis Robert Walpole, afterwards Earl of Orford,
They croud about preferment's gate,
And press you down with all their weight.
For, as of old mathematicians
Were by the vulgar thought magicians ;
So academic dull ale-drinkers
Pronounce all men of wit freethinkers.
Wit, as the chief of virtue's friends,
Disdains to serve ignoble ends.
Observe what loads of ftupid rhymes
Oppress us in corrupted times:
What pamphlets in a court's defence
Shew reason, grammar, truth, or sense :
For tho' the muse delights in fiction,
She ne'er inspires against conviction.
Then keep your virtue ftill unmixt,
And let not faction come betwixt :
By party steps no grandeur climb at,
Tho' it would make you England's primate :
First learn the science to be dull,
You then may foon 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 pursu'd 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 critic vermin sprung
With harpy claws and pois'nous tongue,
Who fatten on poetic 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
Thus Envy pleads a nat’ral claim
To perfecute the muses fame;
On poets in all times abusive,
From Homer down to Pope inclusive.
Yet what avails it to complain? You try to take
in vain. A rat your utmost
That safe behind the wainscot lies :
Say, did you ever know by fight
In cheese an individual mite ?
Shew me the same numeric Alea,
That bit your neck but yesterday:
You then may boldly go in quest
To find the Grub-street poets neft ;
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 infict?
Or call 'em rogues, or get 'em kickt?
These they have often try'd before ;
You but oblige 'em so much more:
Themselves would be the first to tell,
To make their trash the better fell.
You have been libellid Let us know, What fool officious told