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Convey by penny-post to Lintot,
But let no friend alive look into't.
If Lintot thinks ’twill quit the cost,
You need not fear your labour loft :
And how agreeably surpriz’d
Are you to see it advertisid!
The hawker shews you one in print;
As fresh as farthings from the mint:
The product of your toil and sweating;
A bastard of your own begetting.
Be sure at Will's the following day Lie snug, and hear what criticks say. And, if you find the gen’ral vogue Pronounces you a stupid rogue, Damns all your thoughts as low and little, Sit still, and swallow down your spittie. Be filent as a politician, For talking may beget suspicion : Or praise the judgment of the town, And help yourself to run it down. Give up your fond paternal pride, Nor argue on the weaker fide ; For poems read without a name We justly praise, or justly blame ; And criticks have no partial views, Except they know whom they abuse:
And fince you ne'er provok'd their spight,
Depend upon't their judgment's right.
But, if you blab, you are undone ,
Consider what a risk you run :
You lose your credit all at once ;
The town will mark you for a dunce;
The vileft doggrel Grubstreet sends
Will pass for yours with foes and friends;
And you must bear the whole disgrace,
Till fome fresh blockhead takes your place.
Your secret kept, your poem funk,
And sent in quires to line a trunk,
If still you be dispos’d to rhyme,
Go try your hand a fecond time.
Again you fail; yet safe’s the word;
Take courage, and attempt a third.
But first with care employ your thoughts
, Where criticks mark'd your former faults: The trivial turns, the borrow'd wit, The fimiles that nothing fit; The cant which ev'ry fool repeats, Town-jefts, and coffee-house conceits; Descriptions tedious, flat and dry, And introduc'd the lord knows why: Or where we find your fury fet Against the harmless alphabet ;
On a's and b's your malice vent,
While readers wonder whom you meant;
A public or a private robber,
A statesman, or a south-sea jobber ;
A prelate who no God believes ;
A parliament, or den of thieves ;
A pick-purse at the bar or bench,
A duchess, or a suburb wench :
Oroft, when epithets you link
In gaping lines to fill a chink,
Like stepping-stones, to save a stride,
In streets where kennels are too wide;
Or, like a hecl-picce, to support
A cripple with one foot too short;
Or like a bridge, that joins a marish
To moorlands of a diff'rent parish.
So have I feen ill-coupled hounds
Drag diff'rent ways in miry gronnds.
So geographers in Afric maps
With favage pi&ures fill their gaps, ,
And o'er unhabitable downs,
Place elephants for want of towns.
But, though you miss your third essay, You need not throw your pen away. Lay now aside all thoughts of fame, To spring more profitable game.
From party-merit seek support;
The vileft verse thrives beft at court,
A pamphlet in Sir Bob's defence
Will never fail to bring in pence :
Nor be concern'd about the sale,
He pays his workmen on the nail.
A prince, the moment he is crown'd, Inherits every virtue round, As emblems of the sovereign power, Like other bawbles in the Tower: Is generous, valiant, just, and wise, And fo continues till he dies : His humble senate this profesies In all their speeches, votes, addresses: But once you fix him in a tomb, His virtues fade, his vices bloom; And each perfe&tion wrong imputed, Is fully at his death confuted. The loads of poems in his praise Ascending make one funeral-blaze : As soon as you can hear his knell, This God on earth turns d-lin hell: And lo! his ministers of state, Transform’d to imps, his levee wait; Where, in the scenes of endless woe, They ply their former arts below;
And, as they fail in Charon's boat,
Contrive to bribe the judge's vote ;
To Cerberus they give a sop
His triple-barking mouth to stop;
Or in the iv'ry gate * of dreams
Project excise and South-sea schemes';
Or hire their party-pamphletéers
To set Elysium by the ears.
Then poet, if you mean to thrivé,
Employ your Musę on kings alive;
With prudence gath’ring up a cluster
Of all the virtues you can muster,
Which, form’d into a garland sweet,
Lay humbly at your monarch's feet;
Who, as the odours reach his throne,
Will smile, and think 'em all his own ;
For law and gospel both determine
All virtues lodge in royal ermine
(I mean the oracles of both,
Who shall depose it upon oath).
Your garland in the following reign,
Change but the names, will do again.
think this trade too base (Which seldom is the dunce's case),
* Sunt gemine somni porta, etc. Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanio.