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Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep.
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript;
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he:
But ev'n this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why, what a pox
but senseless stones and blocks.
In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say, That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes,
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they lied;
The man recover'd of the bite,
The dog it was that died.
ON EDWARD PURDON.
Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
Who long was a bookseller's hack;
He led such a damnable life in this world,
I don't think he 'll wish to come back.
What? five long acts — and all to make us wiser?
Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
Had she consulted me, she should have made
Her moral play a speaking masquerade;
Warm'd up each bustling scene, and in her rage
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
My life on 't, this had kept her play from sinking;
Have pleas'd our eyes, and sav'd the pain of thinking.
Well! since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade? — I will.
But how? ay, there's the rub! [pausing] — I've got my cue;
The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you, you.
[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery.
Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses !
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses!
Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em,
Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore:
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen.
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman;
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure:
Thus 't is with all their chief and constant care
Is to seem every thing — but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on,
Who seems t' have robb'd his vizor from the lion;
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round parade,
Looking, as who should say, dam'me! who's afraid?
Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am
You'll find his lionship a very lamb.
Yon politician, famous in debate,
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state;
Yet, when he deigns his real shape t' assume,
He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems, to every gazer, all in white,
If with a bribe his candour you attack,
He bows, turns round, and whip — the man in black!
Yon critic, too - but whither do I run?
If I proceed, our bard will be undone!
Well then, a truce, since she requests it too:
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.
AN INVITATION TO DINNER AT SIR GEORGE BAKER'S.
This is a poem! This is a copy of verses!"
Your mandate I got,
You may all go to pot;
Had your senses been right,
You'd have sent before night;
As I hope to be saved,
I put off being shaved;
For I could not make bold,
While the matter was cold,
To meddle in suds,
Or to put on my duds;
So tell Horneck and Nesbitt,
And Baker and his bit,
And Kauffman beside,
And the Jessamy bride,
With the rest of the crew,
The Reynoldses two,
Little Comedy's face,
And the Captain in lace.
(By the bye you may tell him,
I have something to sell him;
Of use I insist,
When he comes to enlist.
Your worships must know
That a few days ago,
Au order went out,
For the foot guards so stout
To wear tails in high taste,
Twelve inches at least:
Now I've got him a scale
To measure each tail,
To lengthen a short tail,
And a long one to curtail.) -
Yet how can I when vext,
Thus stray from my text?
Tell each other to rue
Your Devonshire crew,
For sending so late
To one of my state.
But 't is Reynolds's way
From wisdom to stray,
And Angelica's whim
To be frolick like him,
But, alas! your good worships, how could they be wiser,
When both have been spoil'd in to-day's Advertiser ?
This tomb, inscrib'd to gentle Parnell's name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way!