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The ARGUMENT. Tuve Hope and Encouragement of all the Learned is
only repos'd in Cælar ; whether in Domitian, Nerva, or Trajan, is left doubtful by the Poet. The Nobility, which in Reason ought to Patronize Poetry, and Reward it, are now grown fordidly Covetous, and think it enough for them barely to praise Writers, or to write ill Verses themselves. This gives Occasion to our Author, to lament likewise the hard Fortune and Necessities of other Arts, and their Professors; particularly Hifto
rians, Lawyers, Rhetoricians, and Grammarians. ON Cefar all our. Studies muft depend:
For Cafar is alone che Muses. Friend: When now the celebrated Wits, for Need, Hire Bagnio's, to the Cryer's Trade succeed, Or get their own by Baking others Bread;
Or by the Porter's Lodge, with Beggars, wait
For greafie Fragments at the great Man's Gate.
'Tis better, so; if thy Poetick Fob
Refuse to pay an Ordinary's Club;
And much more Honest, to be hir'd, and stand
With Auctionary Hammer in thy Hand,
Provoking to give more, and knocking thrice
For the fold Houshold Stuff, or Picture's Prices
Exposing Play-Books, full of Fustian Lines,
Or the dull Libraries of dead Divines.
Ev'n this is better, tho’ 'tis hardly got,
Than be a perjur'd Witness of a Plot,
To swear he saw threc Inches thro' a Door,
As Afiatick Evidences fwore;
Who hither coming, out at Heels and Knees,
For this had Pensions, Titles, and Degrees.
Henceforward, let no Poet fear to starve;
Cafar will give, we can but deserve.
Tune all your Lyres, the Monarch's Praise invites
The lab'ring Muse, and vast Rewards excites :
But if from other Hands than his, you think
To find Supply, 'ris Loss of Pen and Ink :
Let Flames on your unlucky Papers prey,
Or Moths thro' written Pages eat their way;
Your Wars, your Loves, your Praises be forgot,
And make of all an universal Blot.
The Muses Ground is barren Defart all,
If no Support from Cafar's Bounty fall;
The rest is empty Praise, an Ivy Crown,
Or the lean · Statue of a starv'd Renau.
For now the cunning Patron never pays,
But thinks he gives enough in giving Praises
Extols the Poem, and the Poet's Vein,
As Boys admire the Peacock's gaudy Train:
Jean-while thy Manhood, fit for Toils and Wars,
patient of Seas, and Storms, and Houshold Cares,
?bbs out apace, and all thy Strength impairs.
Old Age, with filent pace, comes creeping on,
Nauseates the Praise, which in her Youth she won,
And hates the Muse, by which she was undone.
The Tricks of thy base Patron now behold,
To spare his Purse, and save his darling Gold;
In his own Coin the starving Wit he treats ;
Himself makes. Verses, which himself repeats;
And yields to Homer on no other score,
Than that he liv'd a thousand Years before.
But if to Fame alone thou dost precend,
The Miser will his empty Palace lend;
Set wide his Doors, adora'd with plated Brafs,
Where Droves, as at a City Gate, may pass;
A spacious Hall afford thce, to rehearse,
Aad send his Clients to applaud thy Verfe;
But not one Farthing to detray the Colts
Of Carpenters, the 2 Pulpit, and the Pofts.
House-room that costs him nothing, he beftews:
Yet ftill we scribble on, tho' Aill we lose;
We drudge, and cultivate with Care, a Ground
Where no Return of Gain was ever found:
The Charms of Poetry our Souls bewitch;
The Curse of Writing is an endless Itch.
But he whofe noble Genius is allow'd, Who with stretch'd Pinions foars above the Croud, Who mighty Thought can cloath with manly Drefs, He, whom I fancy, but can ne'er express: Such, such a Wit, tho' rarely to be found, Must be fecure from Wapt, if not abound, Nice is his Make, impatient of the War, Avoiding Bus'ness, and abhorring Care;
2 Pulpis. In which the Poets rehcars'd.