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Damnation follows death in other men,
But your damn'd poet lives, and writes again:
Th' adventurous lover is successful still,
Who strives to please the fair against her will:
Be kind, and make him in his wishes easy,
Who in your own despite has strove to please ye.
He scorn'd to borrow from the wits of yore,
But ever writ, as none e'er writ before.
You modern wits, should each man bring his claim,
Have desperate debentures on your fame;
And little would be left you, I'm afraid,
If all your debts to Greece and Rome were paid.
From his deep fund our author largely draws,
Nor sinks his credit lower than it was.
Tho' plays for honour in old time he made,
'Tis now for better reasons-to be paid.
Believe him, he has known the world too long,
And seen the death of much immortal song.
He says, poor poets lost, while players won,
As pimps grow rich, while gallants are undone.
Tho' Tom the poet writ with ease and pleasure,
The comic Tom abounds in other treasure.
Fame is at best an unperforming cheat;
But 'tis substantial happiness, to EAT.
Let ease, his last request, be of your giving,
Nor force him to be damn'd to get his living.
AUTHORS are judg'd by strange capricious rules;
The great ones are thought mad, the small ones fools:
Yet sure the best are most severely fated;
For fools are only laugh'd at, wits are hated.
Blockheads with reason men of sense abhor;
But fool 'gainst fool, is barbarous civil war.
Why on all authors then should critics fall?
Since some have writ, and shown no wit at all.
Condemn a play of theirs, and they evade it;
Cry, “Damn not us, but damn the French, who made
By running goods these graceless owlers gain;
Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain:
But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought,
Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common draught.
They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain,
And teach dull Harlequins to grin in vain.
How shall our author hope a gentler fate,
Who dares most impudently not translate?
It had been civil, in these ticklish times,
To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes.
Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end;
But spare old England, lest you hurt a friend.
If any fool is by our satire bit,
Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit.
Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes;
We take no measure of your fops and beaus:
But here all sizes and all shapes you meet,
And fit yourselves, like chaps in Monmouth-street.
Gallants, look here! this fool's cap* has an air, Goodly and smart, with ears of Issachar.
Let no one fool engross it, or confine
A common blessing! now 'tis yours, now mine.
But poets in all ages had the care
To keep this cap for such as will, to wear.
Our author has it now (for every wit
Of course resign'd it to the next that writ)
And thus upon the stage 'tis fairly thrown;
Let him that takes it wear it as his own.
OR, A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID'S METAMORPHOSES,
AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.
YE lords and commons, men of wit
And pleasure about town,
Read this, ere you translate one bit
Of books of high renown.
Beware of Latin authors all!
Nor think your verses sterling,
Though with a golden pen you scrawl,
And scribble in a berlin:
For not the desk with silver nails,
Nor bureau of expense,
* Shows a cap with ears.
Flings down the cap, and exit.
Nor standish well japann'd, avails
To writing of good sense.
Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
With saucer eyes of fire,
In woful wise did sore affright
A wit and courtly 'squire.
Rare imp of Phoebus, hopeful youth!
Like puppy tame, that uses
To fetch and carry in his mouth
The works of all the Muses.
Ah! why did he write poetry,
That hereto was so civil;
And sell his soul for vanity
To rhyming and the devil
A desk he had of curious work,
With glittering studs about;
Within the same did Sandys lurk,
Though Ovid lay without.
Now, as he scratch'd to fetch up thought,
Forth popp'd the sprite so thin,
And from the keyhole bolted out
All upright as a pin.
With whiskers, band, and pantaloon,
And ruff compos'd most duly,
This 'squire he dropp'd his pen full soon,
While as the light burnt bluely.
Ho! master Sam, quoth Sandys' sprite, Write on, nor let me scare ye;
Forsooth, if rhymes fall not in right,
To Budgel seek, or Carey.*
I hear the beat of Jacob's drums,
Poor Ovid finds no quarter!
See first the merry P― comes
In haste without his garter.
Then lords and lordlings, 'squires and knights,
Wits, witlings, prigs, and peers:
Garth at St. James's, and at White's,
Beats up for volunteers.
What Fenton will not do, nor Gay,
Nor Congreve, Rowe, nor Stanyan,
Tom Burnet or Tom D'Urfey may,
John Dunton, Steele, or any one.
If justice Philips' costive head
Some frigid rhymes disburses:
They shall like Persian tales be read,
And glad both babes and nurses.
Let Warwick's Muse with Ash-t join,
And Ozel's with Lord Hervey's,
Tickell and Addison combine,
And Pope translate with Jervis.
* Henry Carey, a teacher of music and a dramatic writer, but more particularly distinguished as the author and composer of the famous loyal song of "God save the King!" He was remarked for a facetiousness of manners, which rendered his company, in general, very desirable; but was at last reduced to circumstances of such dis tress, that, in a fit of desperation, Oct. 4, 1743, he laid violent hands on himself, and put a period to a life which had been led without reproach. N.