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These they have often tried before ;
You but oblige them so much more:
Themselves would be the first to tell,
To make their trash the better sell.

You have been libel'd -Let us know
What fool officious told you so ?
Will you regard the hawker's cries,
Who in his titles always lies ?
Whate'er the noisy scoundrel says,
It might be something in your praise ;
And praise bestow'd in Grub-street rhymes
Would vex one more a thousand times.
Till critics blame, and judges praise,
The poet cannot claim his bays.
On me when dunces are satiric,
I take it for a panegyric.
Hated by fools, and fools to hate,
Be that my motto, and my fate.

SWIFT.

DIRECTIONS

FOR MAKING A BIRTHDAY SONG,

1729.
To form a just and finish'd piece,
Take twenty gods of Rome or Greece,
Whose godships are in chief request,
And fit your present subject best;
And should it be your hero's case
To have both male and female race,
Your business must be to provide
A score of goddesses beside.

Some call their monarchs-sons of Saturn, For which they bring a modern pattern,

Because they might have heard of one
Who often long'd to eat his son;
But this, I think, will not go down,
For here the father kept his crown.

Why, then, appoint him son of Jove,
Who met his mother in a grove.
To this we freely shall consent,
Well knowing what the poets meant,
And in their sense, 'twixt me and you,
It may be literally true.

Next, as the laws of verse require,
He must be greater than his sire,
For Jove, as every schoolboy knows,
Was able Saturn to depose :
And sure no Christian poet breathing
Would be more scrupulous than a heathen;
Or if to blasphemy it tends,
That's but a trifle among friends.

Your hero now another Mars is,
Makes mighty armies turn their a-s;
Behold his glittering falchion mow
Whole squadrons at a single blow,
While Victory, with wings outspread,
Flies like an eagle o'er his head.
His milk white steed upon its haunches,
Or pawing into dead men's paunches,
As Overton has drawn his sire,
Still seen o'er many an alehouse fire.
Then from his arm hoarse thunder rolls,
As loud as fifty mustard bowls ;
For thunder still his arm supplies,
And lightning always in his eyes;
They both are cheap enough in conscience,
And serve to echo rattling nonsense :

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The rumbling words march fierce along,
Made trebly dreadful in your song.

Sweet poet! hired for birthday rhymes, To sing of wars choose peaceful times. What though, for fifteen years and more, Janus hath lock'd his temple-door; Though not a coffee-house we read in Hath mention'd arms on this side Sweden, Nor London journals, nor the postmen, Though fond of warlike lies as most men; Thou still with battles stuff thy head full, For must thy hero not be dreadful?

Dismissing Mars, it next must follow
Your conqueror is become Apollo;
That he's Apollo is as plain as
That Robin Walpole is Mæcenas:
But that he struts, and that he squints,
You'd know him by Apollo's prints.
Old Phoebus is but half as bright,
For yours can shine both day and night.
The first, perhaps, may once an age
Inspire you with poetic rage;
Your Phoebus Royal every day
Not only can inspire, but pay.

Then make this new Apollo sit
Sole patron, judge, and god of wit.
• How from his altitude he stoops
To raise up Virtue when she droops !
On Learning how his bounty flows,
And with what justice he bestows !
Fair Isis ! and ye banks of Cam!
Be witness if I tell a flam.
What prodigies in arts we drain,
From both your streams in George's reign,

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As from the flowery bed of Nile;'~
But here's enough to show your style.
Broad inuendos, such as this,
If well applied, can hardly miss ;
For when you bring your song in print,
He'll get it read, and take the hint
(It must be read before 'tis warbled,
The paper gilt, and cover marbled),
And will be so much more your debtor,
Because he never knew a letter;
And as he hears his wit and sense
(To which he never made pretence),
Set out in hyperbolic strains,
A guinea shall reward your pains;
For patrons never pay so well
As when they scarce have learn'd to spell.

Next call him Neptune: with his trident
He rules the sea ; you see him ride in't:
And if provoked, he soundly firks his
Rebellious waves with rods, like Xerxes.
He would have seized the Spanish plate,
Had not the fleet gone out too late;
And in their very ports besiege them,
But that he would not disoblige them;
And made the rascals pay him dearly
For those affronts they give him yearly.

'Tis not denied that, when we write,
Our ink is black, our paper white,
And when we scrawl our paper o'er,
We blacken what was white before:
I think this practice only fit
For dealers in satiric wit.
But you some white lead ink must get,
And write on paper black as jet;

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Your interest lies to learn the knack
Of whitening what before was black.

Thus your encomium, to be strong,
Must be applied directly wrong :
A tyrant for his mercy praise,
And crown a royal dunce with bays;
A squinting monkey load with charms,
And paint a coward fierce in arms.
Is he to avarice inclined ?
Extol him for his generous mind :
And when we starve for want of corn,
Come out with Amalthea's horn.
For all experience this evinces
The only art of pleasing princes;
For princes love you should descant
On virtues which they know they want.
One compliment I had forgot,
But songsters must omit it not;
I freely grant the thought is old :
Why then your hero must be told
In him such virtues lie inherent,
To qualify him God's vicegerent,
That, with no title to inherit,
He must have been a king by merit:
Yet be the fancy old or new,
'Tis partly false and partly true ;
And, take it right, it means no more
Than George and William claim'd before.

Should some obscure inferior fellow,
Like Julius or the youth of Pella,
When all your list of gods is out,
Presume to show his mortal snout,
And as a deity intrude,
Because he had the world subdued,

VOL. V.

G

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