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One sings the fair; but songs no longer move;
No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love :
In love's, in Nature's spite, the siege they hold,
And scorn the flesh, the devil, and all but gold.
These write to lords, some mean reward to get, As needy beggars sing at doors for meat: 26 Those write because all write, and so have still Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched, indeed! but far more wretched yet Is he who makes his meal on others' wit: 30 'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before; His rank digestion makes it wit no more :
One would move love by rhymes; but witchcraft's
charms Bring not now their old fears nor their old harms. Rams and slings now are silly battery; Pistolets are the best artillery : And they who write to lords rewards to get, Are they not like singers at doors for meat ? And they who write, because all write, have still Th'excuse for writing, and for writing ill. But he is worst who (beggarly) doth chaw Others' wits' fruits, and in his ravenous maw Rankly digested, doth those things out-spue As his own things: and they're his own, 'tis true;
Sense pass'd thro' him no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those confessors and martyrs 35
Who live like S*tt*n, or who die like Chartres,
Outcant old Esdras, or outdrink his heir,
Outusure Jews, or Irishmen outswear;
Wicked as pages, who in early years
Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hear 40
Ev'n those I pardon, for wbose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell
In what commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my just offence,
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave impu-
For if one my meat, tho' it be known
The meat was mine, th' excrement is his own.
But these do me no harm, nor they which use
To * * * * * * * * * outusure Jews.
T' outdrink the sea, t' outswear the Litany,
Who with sins all kinds as familiar be
As confessors, and for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Whose strange sins canonists could hardly tell
In which commandment's large receipt they dwell.
But these punish themselves. The insolence
Of Coscus only breeds my just offence,
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an Attorney of an Ass.
No young divine, benefic'd, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive, than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do
But turn a wit, and scribble verses too?
Pierce the soft lab'rinth-of a lady's ear
55 With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year! Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts, Like nets, or lime-twigs, for rich widows' hearts; Call himself Barrister to ev'ry wench, And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench? 60
Whom time (which rots all, and make botches pox,
And plodding on must make a calf an ox)
Hath made a lawyer which (alas!) of late,
But scarce a poet, jollier of this state
Than are new-benefic'd ministers: he throws,
Like nets or lime-twigs, wheresoe'er he goes,
His title of Barrister on ev'ry wench,
and woos in language of the Pleas and Bench * *
Words, words which would tear
The tender labyrinth of a maid's soft ear,
Language which Boreas might to Auster hold,
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch, so venal and so vain,
Paltry and proud as drabs in Drury-Lane.
'Tis such a bounty as was never known,
65 If Peter deigns to help you to your own: What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies ! And what a solemn face if he denies ! Grave, as when pris'ners shake the head, and swear 'Twas only suretyship that brought 'em there. 70 His office keeps your parchment fates entire, He starves with cold to save them from the fire; For you he walks the streets thro' rain or dust, For not in chariots Peter puts his trust : For you he sweats and labours at the laws, 75 Takes God to witness be affects your cause,
More, more than ten Scalvonians scolding, more
Than when winds in our ruin'd abbys roar.
When sick with poetry, and possess'd with Muse
Thou wast, and mad, I hop'd; but men which chuse
Law-practice for meer gain, bold souls repute
Worse than imbrothell'd strumpets prostitute.
Now like an owl-like watchman must he walk,
His hand still at a bill; now he must talk
Idly, like pris'ners, which whole months will swear
That only suretyship hath brought then there,
And lies to ev'ry lord in ev'ry thing,
Like a king's favourite....or like a king.
These are the talents that adorn them all,
From wicked Waters ev'n to godly **** 80
Not more of Simony beneath black gowns,
Not more of bastardy in heirs to crowns.
In shillings and in pence at first they deal,
And steal so little, few perceive they steal;
Till like the sea, they compass all the land, 85
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover Strand :
And when rank widows purchase luscious nights,
Or when a duke to Janssen punts at White's,
Or city-heir in mortgage melts away,
Satan himself feels far less joy than they.
And to ev'ry suitor he in ev'ry thing,
Like a king's favourite, or like a king :
Like a wedge in a block wring to the bar,
Bearing like asses, and more shameless far
Than carted whores, lye to the grave judge ; for
Bastardy abounds not in kings' titles, nor
Simony and Sodomy in churchmen's lives,
As these things do in bim; by these he thrives.
Shortly (as th' sea) he'll compass all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover Strand;
And spying heirs melting with luxury,
Satan will not joy at their sins as he :