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For though, in nature, depth and height
Are equally held infinite ;
In poetry, the height we know ;
'Tis only infinite below.
For instance: when you rashly think,
No rhymer can like Welsted sink,
His merits balanc'd, you shall find
The laureat leaves him far behind.
Concannen, more aspiring bard,
Soars downwards deeper by a yard.
Smart Jemmy Moor with vigour drops:
The rest pursue as thick as hops.
With heads to points the gulph they enter,
Link'd perpendicular to the centre;
And, as their heels elated rise,
Their heads attempt the nether skies.
Oh, what indignity and shame,
To prostitute the Muse's name!
By flattering kings, whom Heaven design'd
The plagues and scourges of mankind;
Bred up in ignorance and sloth,
And every vice that nurses both.
Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest,
Whose virtues bear the strictest test;
Whom never faction could bespatter,
Nor minister nor poet flatter;
What justice in rewarding merit !
What magnanimity of spirit!
What lineaments divine we trace
Through all his figure, mien, and face !
Though peace with olive bind his hands,
Confess'd the conquering hero stands,
Hydaspes, Indus, and the Ganges,
Dread from his hand impending changes.
From him the Tartar and Chinese,
Short by the knees, entreat for peace.
The consort of his throne and bed,
A perfect goddess born and bred,
Appointed sovereign judge to sit
On learning, eloquence, and wit,
Our eldest hope, divine lülus,
(Late, very late, oh may he rule us !)
What early manhood has he shown,
Before his downy beard was grown!
Then think, what wonders will be done,
By going on as he begun,
An heir for Britain to secure
As long as Sun and Moon endure.
The remnant of the royal blood
Comes pouring on me like a flood :
Bright goddesses, in number five;
Duke William, sweetest prince alive.
Now sing the minister of state,
Who shines alone without a mate.
Observe with what majestic port
This Atlas stands to prop the court:
Intent the public debts to pay,
Like prudent Fabius, by delay.
Thou great vicegerent of the king,
Thy praises every Muse shall sing !
In all affairs thou sole director,
Of wit and learning chief protector;
Though small the time thou hast to spare,
The church is thy peculiar care.
Of pious prelates what a stock
You choose, to rule the sable flock !
You raise the honour of the peerage,
Proud to attend you at the steerage.
You dignify the noble race,
Content yourself with humbler place.
Now, learning, valour, virtue, sense,
To titles give the sole pretence.
St. George beheld thee with delight
Vouchsafe to be an azure knight,
When on thy breasts and sides Herculean
He fix'd the star and string cerulean.
Say, poet, in what other nation
Shone ever such a constellation !
Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays,
And tune your harps, and strow your bays:
Your panegyrics here provide ;
You cannot err on flattery's side.
Above the stars exalt your style,
You still are low ten thousand mile.
On Lewis, all his bards bestow'd
Of incense many a thousand load;
But Europe mortify'd his pride,
And swore the fawning rascals ly’d.
Yet what the world refus'd to Lewis,
Apply'd to George, exactly true is.
Exactly true! invidious poet !
'Tis fifty thousand times below it.
Translate me now some lines, if you can, From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan. They could all power in Heaven divide, And do no wrong on either side ;
you how to split a hair,
Give George and Jove an equal share.
Yet why should we be lac'd so straight ?
I'll give my monarch butter-weight.
And reason good; for many a year
Jove never intermeddled here :
Nor, though his priests be duly paid,
Did ever we desire his aid :
We now can better do without him,
Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him.
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY-SHOWER,
IN IMITATION OF VIRGIL'S GEORGICS.
CAREFUL observers may foretell the hour
(By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower.
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more.
Returning home at night, you 'll find the sink
Strike your offended sense with double stink.
If you be wise, then go not far to dine ;
You ’ll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine.
A coming shower your shooting corns presage,
Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.
Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen;
He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings, A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings,
That swill'd more liquor than it could contain,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope :
Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean
Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean :
You fly, invoke the gods; then, turning, stop
To rail ; she, singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd th' unequal strife,
But aided by the wind, fought still for life;
And, wafted with its foe by violent gust,
'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust.
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade?
Sole coat! where dust cemented by the rain
Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain !
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town.
To shops in crowds the daggled females fly,
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy.
The templar spruce, while every spout 's abroach,
Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach.
The tuck’d-up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides.
Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.
Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Box'd in a chair, the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits,
And ever and anon with frightful din
The leather sounds; he trembles from within.