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Dear Col'nel, Cobham's and your country's
friend! You love a verse ; take such as I can send.
A Frenchman comes, presents you with his boy, Bows and begins - This lad, sir, is of Blois : * Observe his shape how clean! his locks how
o curl'd! • My only son, I'd have him see the world : • His French 'is pure ; his voice 100mmyou shall
: hear : * Sir, he's your slave for twenty pound a-year. • Mere wax as yet, you fashion him with ease, • Your barber, cook, upholst'rer; what you please : • A perfect genius at an op'ra song• To say too much might do my honor wrong.' « Take him with all his virtues, on my word;
His whole ambition was to serve a lord. • But, şir, to you with what would I not part? 15 Though faith, I fear 'will break his mother's
heart. "Once (and but once) I caught him in a lie,
And then, unwhipp'd, he had the grace to cry:
• The fault he has I fairly shall reveal, (Could you o’erlook but that it is, to steal. 20
If, after this, you took the graceless lad, Could you complain, my friend! he prov'd so bad? Faith, in such case, if you should prosecute, I think Sir Godfrey should decide the suit, Who sent the thief that stole the cash away, 25 And panish'd him that put it in his way.
Consider then, and judge me in this light; I told you, when I went, I could not write ; You said the same ; and are you discontent With laws to which you gave your own assent? 30 Nay, worse, to ask for verse at such a time! : D'ye think me good for nothiog but to-rhyme ?
In Anna's wars, a soldier, poor, and old, Had dearly carn'd a little purse of gold; Tir'd with a tedious march, one luckless night 35 He slept, (poor dog !) and lost it to a doit. This put the man in such a desp'rate mind, Between revenge, and grief, and hunger join'd, Against the foe, himself, and all mankind, He leap'd the trenches, scald a castle wall, 40 Tore down a standard, took the fort and all. ! Prodigious well!' his great commander cry'd, Gave him much praise, and some reward beside. Next pleas'd his Excellence a town to batter; (Its name I know not, and 'tis no great matter) 4 3 'Go on, my friend,' he cry'd, see yonder walls! . Advance and conquer ! go where glory calls! More honors, more rewards, attend the brave."
Don't you remember what reply he gave ?
D'ye think me, noble Gen'ral! such a sot? 50 Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat."
Bred up at home, full early I begun To read in Greek the wrath of Peleus' son ; Besides, my father taught me from a lad, The better art, to know the good from bad ; 55 And little sure imported to remove, To hunt for truth in Maudlin's learned grove.) But knottier points we knew not half so well, Depriv'd us soon of our paternal cell ; And certain laws, by suff'rers thought unjust, 60 Deny'd all posts of profit, or of trust; Ilopes after hopes of pious Papists fail'd, While mighty William's thund'ring arm prevail'd. For right hereditary, tax'd and fin’d, He stuck to poverty with peace of mind; 63 And me the Muses help to undergo it, Convict a Papist he, and I a poet. But, (thanks to Homer) since I live and thrive, Indebted to no prince or peer alive, Sure I should want the care of ten Monros, 70 If I would scribble rather than repose.
Years foll'wing years steal something ev'ry day, 1t last they steal us from ourselves away ; in one, our frolics, one, amusements end, none, a mistress drops, in one, a friend. this subtle thief of life, this paltry time,
13 What will it leave me, if it snatch my rhyme ?
If ev'ry wheel of that unweary'd mill,
But, after all, what would you have me do, 80
friends ? My counsel sends to execute a deed; A poet begs me I will hear him read. In Palace-yard at nine you'll find me there At ten, for certain, sir, in Bloomsb’ry-square---95 Before the Lords, at twelve, my cause comes on There's a rehearsal, sir, exact at one.-*Oh! but a wit can study in the streets, ' And raise his mind above the mob he meets.' Not quite so well, however, as one ought; 100 A hackney-coach may chance to spoil a thought; And then a nodding beam, or pig of lead, God knows, may hurt the very ablest head. Have you not seen, at Guildhall's narrow pass, Two aldermen dispute it with an ass ?
And peers give way, exalted as they are,
Go, lofty poet ! and in such a crowd
110 To ease and silence, ev'ry Muse's son: Blackmore himself, for any grand effort, Would drink and dose at Tooting or Earl's-court. How shall I rhyme in this eternal roar ? How match the bards whom none e'er match'd before ? '
115 The man who, stretch'd in Isis' calm retreat, To books and study gives sev'n years complete, See ! strow'd with learned dust, his nightcap on, He walks an object new beneath the sun! 119 The boys flock round him, and the people starc: So stiff, so mute ! some statue you would swear Stept from his pedestal to take the air! And here, while Town, and Court, and City, roars, With mobs, and duns, and soldiers at their doors, Shall I in London act this idle part, 123 Composing songs for fools to get by heart ?
The Temple late two brother Serjeants say,