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And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
Deus est anima brutorum.
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute;
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport,
Nor know who's in or out at court;
They never to the levee go
To treat as dearest friend a foe;
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place;
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bub;
Fraught with invective they ne'er go
To folks at Pater-noster-row:
No jugglers, fidlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupedes;
No single brute his fellow leads;
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape.
Like man, he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion :
But both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses,
Behold him, humbly cringing, wait
Upon the minister of state :
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors :
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators;
At court, the porters, lackeys, waiters,
Their masters' manners still contract,
And footmen lords and dukes can act;
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behave alike for all
STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING,
IMITATED FROM THE SPANISH.
SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity, than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.
Long had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind;
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite :
Till reading, I forgot what day on,
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair ;
But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to god Mercurius :
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth :
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side-mark that. Well! what is it from thence we gather? Why these denote a brain of feather. A brain of feather! very right, With wit that's flighty, learning light; Such as to modern bards decreed ; A just comparison--proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse, Wings grow again from both his shoes; Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear, And waft his godship through the air; And here my simile unites, For, in a modern poet's flights, I'm sure it may be justly said, His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand, Filld with a snake-incircled wand; By classic authors term'd caduceus, And highly fam’d for several uses : To wit-most wond’rously endu’d, No poppy water half so good;