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THE FEAST OF THE POETS.
T'other day, as Apollo sat pitching his darts Through the clouds of November, by fits and by starts, He began to consider how long it had been, Since the bards of Old England a session had seen. “I think,” said the God, recollecting, (and then He fell twiddling a sunbeam, as I may my pen,) “I think—let me see—yes, it is, I declare, As long ago now as that Buckingham there : * And yet I can't see why I've been so remiss, Unless it may be—and it certainly is,
* Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, wrote the last Session of the Poets. The others were written by Suckling and Rochester. window.
That since Dryden's fine verses, and Milton's sublime, I have fairly been sick of their sing-song and rhyme. There was Collins, 'tis true, had a good deal to say ; But the dog had no industry,—-neither had Gray : And Thomson, though dear to my heart, was too florid To make the world see that their own taste was horrid.
So ever since Pope, my pet bard of the town,
and give them a lesson or two, And as nothing's done there now-a-days without
eating, See what kind of set I can muster worth treating." So saying, the God bade his horses walk for’ard, And leaving them, took a long dive to the nor’ard : For Gordon's he made ; and as Gods who drop in do, Came smack on his legs through the drawing-room
And here I could tell, were I given to spin it, How all the town shook, as the godhead came in it; How bright look'd the poets, and brisk blew the airs, And the laurels shot up in the gardens and squares;But fancies like these, though I've stores to supply me, I'd better keep back for a poem I've by me, And merely observe that the girls look'd divine, And the old folks in-doors exclaimed “Bless us how fine!”
If you'd fancy, however, what Phæbus might be, Imagine a shape above mortal degree, His limbs the perfection of elegant strength,A fine flowing roundness inclining to length,A presence that spoke,—an expansion of chest, (For the God, you'll observe, like his statues was drest), His throat like a pillar for smoothness and
grace, His curls in a cluster,—and then such a face, As marked him at once the true offspring of Jove, The brow all of wisdom, and lips all of love ; For though he was blooming, and oval of cheek, And youth down his shoulders went smoothing and sleek,
Yet his look with the reach of past ages was wise,
I would'nt say more, lest my climax should lose ;Yet now I have mentioned those lamps of the Muse, I can't but observe what a splendour they shed, When a thought more than common came into his
head: Then they leaped in their frankness, deliciously bright, And shot round about them an arrowy light; And if, as he shook back his hair in its cluster,
A curl fell athwart them and darken'd their lustre,
A sprinkle of gold through the duskiness came,
The God then no sooner had taken a chair, And rung
for the landlord to order the fare, Than he heard a strange noise and a knock from
without,And scraping and bowing, came in such a rout!