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Great 6 Rome and Venice early did impart
To thee th' examples of their wondrous art.
Those mafters then, but seen, not understood,
With generous emulation fir'd thy 'blood :
For what in nature's dawn the child admir'd,
The youth endeavour'd, and the man acquir’d.
If yet thou hast not reach'd their high degree,
'Tis only wanting to this age, not thee.
Thy genius, bounded by the times, like mine,
Drudges on petty draughts, nor dare design
A more exalted work, and more divine.
For what a song, or senseless opera
Is to the living labour of a play;
Or what a play to Virgil's work would be,
Such is a single piece to history.
But we, who life bestow, ourselves must live:
Kings cannot reign, unless their subjects give ;
And they, who pay the taxes, bear the rule:
Thus thou, sometimes, art forc'd to draw a fool:
But to his follies in thy posture sink,
The senseleis idiot seems at last to think.
Good heaven! that sots and knaves should be so vain,
To wish their vile resemblance may remain!
And stand recorded, at their own request,
To future days, a libel or a jest!
Else should we see your noble pencil trace
Our unities of action, time, and place:
A whole compos'd of parts, and those the best,
With every various character expreft:
Heroes at large, and at a nearer view;
Less, and at distance, an ignobler crew.
With all the figures in one action join,
As tending to complete the main design.
More cannot be by mortal art expreít ;
But venerable age shall add the rest.
6 rie travelled yery young into Italy.
For time shall with his ready pencil stand;
Retouch your figures with his ripening hand;
Mellow your colours, and imbrown the teint;
Add every grace, which time alone can grant;
And give more beauties than he takes away.
HOU common fhore of this poetic town,
Where all the excrements of wit are thrown,
For fonnet, satire, bawdry, blasphemy,
Are emptied, and disburden'd all in thee:
The choleric wight untrufling all in rage
Finds thee, and lays his load upon thy page :
Thou Julian, or thou wise Vespasian rather,
Doft from this dung thy well pickt guineas gather,
All mischief's thine, transcribing thou wilt stoop,
From lofty Middlesex to lowly Scroop.
What times are these, when in the hero's room,
Bow-bending Cupid doth with ballads come,
And little Alton offers to the bum?
Can two such pigmies such a weight support,
Two fuch Tom-Thumbs of satire in a court?
Poor George grows old, his muse worn out of fashion,
Hoarfly he sung Ephelia's lamentation.
Less art thou help'd hy Dryden's bed-rid age,
That drone has lost his sting upon the stage:
Resolve me, poor apoftate, this my doubt,
What hope haft thou to rub this winter out?
Know, and be thankful then, for Providence
By me hath sent thee this intelligence.
A knight there is, if thou can'ít gain his grace,
Known by the name of the hard-favour'd face,
For prowess of the pen renown'd is he,
From Don Quixote descended lineally.
And tho' like him unfortunate he prove,
Undaunted in attempts of wit and love.
Of his unfinish'd face, what shall I say?
But that 'twas made of Adam's own red clay,
That much much oaker was on it bestow'd,
God's image 'tis not, but some Indian god:
Our christian earth can no resemblance bring
But ware of Portugal for such a thing ;
Such carbuncles his fiery face confess,
As no Hungarian water can redress.
A face which should he see (but heaven was kind,
And to indulge his self, Love made him blind.)
He durft not itir abroad for fear to meet
Curses of teeming women in the treet:
The best could happen from this hideous sight,
Is that they should miscarry with the fright-
Such is our charming Strephon's outward man, * His inward
To his dear self of poetry he talks,
His hands and feet are scanning as he walks ;
His writhing looks his pangs of wit accuse,
The airy symptoms of a breeding mufe,
And all to gain the great
But never pen did pimp for such a face;
There's not a nymph in city, town, or court,
But Strephon's billet-deux has been their Sport.
Still he loves on, yet still he's sure to miss,
As they who wash an Ethiop's face, or his.
What fate unhappy Strephon does attend?
Never to get a mistress, nor a friend.
Strephon alike both wits and fools deteft,
'Cause he's like Esop's batt, half bird half beast;
For fools to poetry have no pretence,
And common wit fupposes common sense,
Not quite so low as fool, nor quite a top,
He hangs between them both, and is a fop,
His morals like his wit are motley too,
He keeps from arrant knave with much ado.
But vanity and lying fo prevail,
That one grain more of each would turn the scale :
He would be more a villain had he time,
But he's so wholly taken up with rhyme,
That he mistakes his talent; all his care
Is to be thought a poet fine and fair.
Small-beer, and gruel, are his meat and drink,
The diet he prescribes himself to think;
Rhyme next his heart he takes at the morn peep,
Some love-epiftles at the hour of fleep;
So betwixt elegy and ode we see
Strephon is in a course of poetry:
This is the man ordain’d to do thee good,
The pelican to feed thee with his blood;
Thy wit, thy poet, nay thy friend, for he
Is fit to be a friend to none but thee.
Make sure of him, and of his muse betimes,
For all his ftudy is hung round with rhimes.
Laugh at him, justle him, yet still he writes,
In rhyme he challenges, in rhyme he fights;
Charg'd with the last, and baseft infamy,
His business is to think what rhymes to lye,
Which found in fury he retorts again,
Strephon's a very dragon at his pen;
His brother murder'd, and his mother's whor'd,
His mistress loit, and yet his pen's his sword,