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To Dr. DELANY, on the Libels written
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 skirmish first he hears
The bullets whistling round his ears,
Will duck his head aside, will start,
And feel a trembling at his heart;
Till 'scaping oft without a wound
Leffens the terror of the found;
Fly bullets now as thick as hops,
He runs into a cannon's chops :
An author thus who pants for fame,
Begins the world with fear and shame :
When firít in print you see him dread
levell’d at his head :
The lead yon critic's quill contains,
Is deftin’d to beat out his brains.
As if he heard loud thunders roll,
Cries, Lord, have mercy on his soul !
Concluding, that another shot
Will strike him dead upon the spot.
But, when with squibbing, flashing, popping,
He cannot fee one creature dropping;
That, miffing fire, or miffing aim,
His life is fafe, I mean his fame ;
The danger past, takes heart of grace,
And looks a critic in the face.
Though splendor gives the fairest mark
To poison'd arrows from the dark,
Yet, in yourself when smooth and round *,
They glance afide without a wound.
'Tis said, 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 vex'd
To pay the penalty annex'd ?
"Tis eminence makes envy rise ;
As fairest fruits attract the flies.
Should stupid libels grieve your mind,
You foon a remedy may tind :
* In feipfo toiui teres a:que rotunjus.
Lie down obscure like other folks
Below the lath of snarlers jokes.
Their faction is five hundred odds;
For ev'ry coxcomb lends them rods;
And sneers as learnedly as they ;
Like females o’er their morning tea.
You say, 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 raite 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;
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 feck!
To dress a thought, I toil a week :
And then how thankful to the town,
If all my pains will earn a crown!
Whilst ev'ry critic can devour
My work and me in half an hour.
Would men of genius cease to write,
muft die for want and spite ;
Must die for want of food and raiment,
If scandal did not find them payment.
How chcarfully the hawkers cry
A satire, and the gentry buy !
While my hard-labour'd poem pines
Unfold upon the printer's lines.
The Irish parliament sat at the Blue-boys hospital, while the new parliament-houle was building.
A genius in the rev'rend gown
Muít ever keep its owner down;
'Tis an unnatural conjunction,
And spoils the credit of the function.
Round all your brethren cast your eyes ;
Point out the sureft men to rise ;
That club of candidates in black,
The least deserving of the pack,
Aspiring, factious, fierce, and loud,
With grace and learning unendu’d,
Can turn their hands to ev'ry job,
The fitteft tools to work for Bob *
Will sooner coin a thoufwd lies,
Then suffer men of parts to rise ;
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 dule ale-drinkers
Pronounce all men of wit freethinkers.
Wit, as the chief of virtue's friends, Difdains to ferve ignoble ends. Observe what loads of stupid rhymes Opprefs us in corrupted times : What pamphlets in a court's defence Shew reason, grammar, truth, or sense? For though the mufe delight in fiction, 105 She ne'er infpires against conviction, Then keep your virtue ftill unmixt, And let no faction come betwixt : By party-steps no grandeur climb at, Though it would make you England's primate : 110 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.
* Sir Robert Walpole, afterwards Earl of Orford,
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 cricic vermin sprung
With harpy claws and pois'nous tongue,
Who fatten on poetic fcraps,
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 geefe, the wolf your flocks :
Thus Envy pleads a nat'ral claim
To persecute 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 revenge in vain.
That safe behind the wainscot lies :
Say, did you ever know by fight
In cheese an individual mite?
Shew me the same numeric flea,
That bit your neck but yesterday :
You then may boldly go in quest
To find the Grubstreet poet’s nest;
What fpunging-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 the lay,
Or cellar where they starve to-day.
Suppose you had them all trepann'd,
With each a libel in his hand,