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The Poets now and Painters hold
This thefis both abfurd and bold :
And your good-natur'd gods, they say,
Defcend fome twice or thrice a-day:
Elfe all these things we toil fo hard in
Would not avail one fingle farthing:
For, when the hero we rehearse,
Το grace his actions and our verfe;
'Tis not by dint of human thought,
That to his Latium he is brought;
Iris defcends by Fate's commands,
To guide his steps through foreign lands:
And Amphitrite clears the way
From rocks and quick-fands in the sea.
And if you fee him in a sketch

(Though drawn by Paulo or Carache),
He shews not half his force and strength,
Strutting in armour, and at length:
That he may make his proper figure,
The piece muft yet be four yards bigger:
The nymphs conduct him to the field;
One holds his fword, and one his fhield:
Mars, ftanding by, afferts his quarrel;
And Fame flies after with a laurel.

These points, I fay, of fpeculation,
(As 'twere to fave or fink the nation)
Men idly-learned will difpute,
Affert, object, confirm, refute :
Each mighty angry, mighty right,
With equal arms sustains the fight;

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Till now no umpire can agree 'em :

So both draw off, and fing Te Deum,
Is it in equilibrio,

If deitics defcend or no?

Then let th' affirmative prevail,
As requifite to form my tale :
For by all parties 'tis confeft,
That those opinions are the best,
Which in their nature most conduce
To prefent ends, and private use.

Two gods came therefore from above,
One Mercury, the other Jove:
The humour was (it seems) to know,
If all the favours they bestow,

Could from our own perverfeness ease us;
And if our with enjoy'd would please us.
Difcourfing largely on this theme,
O'er hills and dales their godfhips came
Till, well nigh tir'd at almost night,
They thought it proper to alight.

Note here, that it as true as odd is,
That in difguife a god or goddess
Exerts no fupernatural powers;

But acts on maxims much like ours.
They fpied at last a country farm,

Where all was fnug, and clean, and warm;

For woods before, and hills behind,

Secur'd it both from rain and wind:

Large oxen in the field were lowing:

Good grain was fow'd: good fruit was growing:


Of laft-year's corn in barns great store :
Fat turkeys gobbling at the door :

And wealth (in fhort) with peace confented,
That people here should live contented :
But did they in effect do fo?

Have patience, friend, and thou fhalt know.
The honeft farmer and his wife,
To years declin'd from prime of life,
Had struggled with the marriage noose;
As almost every couple does :

Sometimes, my plague! fometimes, my darling!

Kiffing to-day, to-morrow snarling;

Jointly fubmitting to endure

That evil, which admits no cure,

Our gods the outward gate unbarr'd:

Our farmer met them in the yard;
Thought they were folks that loft their way;

And ask'd them civily to stay :

Told them, for fupper, or for bed,

They might go on, and be worse sped.
So faid, so done; the gods confent :
All three into the parlour went :
They compliment; they fit; they chat;
Fight o'er the wars; reform the state:
A thousand knotty points they clear,
Till fupper and my wife appear.

Jove made his leg, and kifs'd the dame :
Obfequious Hermes did the fame.
Jove kifs'd the farmer's wife, you say !

He did

but in an honeft way:

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Oh! not with half that warmth and life,
With which he kiss'd Amphitryon's wife. —
Well then, things handsomely were ferv'd :
My mistress for the strangers carv’d.
How strong the beer, how good the meat,
How loud they laugh'd, how much they eat,
In epic fumptuous would appear;
Yet fhall be pass'd in filence here :
For I fhould grieve to have it said,
That, by a fine defeription led,
I made my epifode too long,
Or tir'd my friend, to grace my song.
The grace-cup ferv'd, the cloth away,
Jove thought it time to fhew his play :
Landlord and landlady, he cried,
Folly and jefting laid afide,

That ye thus hofpitably live,

And ftrangers with good chear receive,
Is mighty grateful to your betters,

And makes e'en gods themfelves your debtors.
To give this thefis plainer proof,
You have to-night beneath your roof
A pair of gods (nay never wonder):
This youth can fly, and I can thunder.
I'm Jupiter, and he Mercurius,
My page, my fon indeed, but spurious.
Form then three wishes, you and Madam;
And fure as you already had 'em,
The things defir'd, in half an hour,
Shall all be here, and in your power..


Thank you, great gods, the woman says:

Oh! may your altars ever blaze!

A Ladle for our filver-difh

Is what I want, is what I wish.

A Ladle cries the man, a Ladle !
Odzooks, Corifca, you have pray'd ill;
What should be great, you turn to farce;
I wish the Ladle in your a—.

With equal grief and fhame, my Muse
The fequel of the Tale pursues,
The Ladle fell into the room,
And ftuck in old Corifca's bum.
Our couple weep two wishes past,
And kindly join to form the last;
To ease the woman's aukward pain,
And get the Ladle out again.


THIS commoner has worth and parts,

Is prais'd for arms, or lov'd for arts :

His head aches for a coronet :

And who is blefs'd that is not great?

Some fenfe, and more eftate, kind Heaven.

To this well-lotted peer has given :

What then? He must have rule and sway :
And all is wrong, till he 's in play.

The mifer must make up his plumb,
And dares not touch the hoarded fum;
The fickly dotard wants a wife,
To draw off his laft dregs of life.


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