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And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv’d one poet more.
Happy my studies, when by these approv'd !
Happier their Author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.

Soft were my numbers; who could take offence
While pure description held the place of sense ?
Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme,
A painted mistress, or a purling stream.

150 Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never answer'd: I was not in debt. If want provok’d, or madness made them print, I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint. 156

Did some more sober critic come abroad; If wrong, I smild; if right, I kiss’d the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense. 160 Commas and points they set exactly right, And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite. Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds, From slashing Bentley, down to piddling Tibalds : Each wight, who reads not, and but scans and spells, Each word-catcher, that lives on syllables, 166 Ev'n such small critics, some regard may claim, Preserv'd in Milton's, or in Shakespeare's name. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms 169 Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms!

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The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there.

Were others angry, I excus’d them too ;
Well might they rage, I gave them but their due.
A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find; 175
But each man's secret standard in his mind,
That casting-weight pride adds to emptiness,
This who can gratify ? for who can guess ?
The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian tale for half-a-crown, 180
Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines

2-year; He, who still wanting, though he lives on theft, Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left; And he who now to sense, now nonsense, leaning, Means not, but blunders round about a meaning ; And he whose fustian's so sublimely bad, It is not poetry, but prose run mad : All these my modest Satire bade translate, And own'd that nine such poets made a Tate. 190 How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and

chafe! And swear, not Addison himself was safe.

Peace to all such ! But were there one whose fires True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires, 194 Blessd with each talent and each art to please, And born to write, converse, and live with ease ; Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,

View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise ;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering teach the rest to sneer ;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend, 205
A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend ;
Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd,
And so obliging that he ne'er oblig'd ;
Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause ; 210
While wits and Templars ev'ry sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise-
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be ?
Who would not weep, if Atticus were he!

What though my name stood rubric on the walls,
Or plaister'd posts, with claps, in capitals ? 216
Or sinoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load,
On wings of winds came flying all abroad?
I sought no homage from the race that write ;
I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight;
Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long) 221
No more than thou, great George ! a birthday song,
I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days,
To spread about the itch of verse and praise ;
Nor, like a puppy, daggled through the Town,
To fetch and carry sing-song up and down; 226
Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd, and cry'd,
With handkerchief and orange at my side;

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But sick of fops, and poetry,

and prate,
To Bufo left the whole Castalian state: 230

Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
Sate full-blown Bufo, puff’d by ev'ry quill ;
Fed with soft dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand in hand in song.
His library (where busts of poets dead 235
And a true Pindar stood without a head)
Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race,
Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place :
Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his seat,
And flatter'd ev'ry day, and some days eat;

240 Till

grown more frugal in his riper days,
He paid some bards with port, and some with

praise ;
To some a dry rehearsal was assign’d,
And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Dryden alone (what wonder ?j came not nigh, 245
Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye,
But still the great have kindness in reserve :
He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve.
May some choice patron bless each gray-goose

May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo still ! 250
So when a statesman wants a day's defence,
Or Envy liolds a whole week's war with Sense,
Or simple Pride for flatı'ry makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands !
Bless'd be the great! for those they take away,
And those they left me for they left me Gay;



Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb :
Of all thy blameless life the sole return
My verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn!

Oh! let me live my own, and die so too! 261
(To live and die is all I have to do ;)
Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books, I please;
Above a patron, though I condescend

265 Sometimes to call a minister


I was not born for courts or great affairs;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray’rs ;
Can sleep without a poem


head, Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead. 270

Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? Heav'ns ! was I born for nothing but to write ? Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave) Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save ? 274 " I found him close with Swift - Indeed ? doubt • (Cries prating Balbus) something will come out.' 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will;

No, such a genius never can lie still ;'
And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes. 280
Poor guiltless I! and can I chuse but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my Style ?

Curst be the verse, how well soe’er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear !



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