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So, if this Pile of scatter'd Rhymes
Should be approvd in After-times ;
If it both pleases and endures,
The Merit and the Praise are yours.
Thou, Stella, wert no longer young,
When first for thee my Harp I strung:
Without one Word of Cupid's Darts,
Of killing Eyes, or bleeding Hearts:
With Friendship and Esteem poffeft,
I ne'er admitted Love a Guest.
In all the Habitudes of Life,
The Friend, the Mistress, and the Wife,
Variety we still pursue,
In Pleasure seek for something new :
Or else, comparing with the rest,
Take Comfort, that our own is best:
(The best we value by the worst,
As Tradesmen Thew their Trash at first :)
But his Pursuits are at an End,
Whom Stella chuses for a Friend.
A POET, starving in a Garret,
Conning old Topicks like a Parrot,
Invokes his Mistress and his Muse,
And stays at home for Want of Shoes :
Should but his Muse descending drop
A Slice of Bread, and Mutton-Chop;
Or kindly when his Credit's out,
Surprize him with a Pint of * Stout;
Or patch his broken Stocking Soals;
Or send him in a Peck of Coals;
Exalted in his mighty Mind
He flies, and leaves the Stars behind,
Counts all his Labours amply paid,
Adores her for the timely Aid.
Or, should a Porter make Enquiries
For Chloe, Sylvia, Phyllis, Iris ;
Be told the Lodging, Lane, and Sign,
The Bow'rs that hold those Nymphs divine ;
Fair Chloe would perhaps be found
With Footmen tippling under Ground
The charming Sylvia beating Flax,
Her Shoulders mark'd with bloody Tracks ;
Bright Phyllis mending ragged Smocks ;
And radiant Iris in the Pox.
These are the Goddeffes enrollid
In Curl's Collections, new and old,
Whofe scoundrel Fathers would not know 'em,
If they should meet 'em in a Poem.
True Poets can depress and raise ; Are Lords of Infamy and Praise : Vol. II.
• Cant Word for Strong-Beer,
They are not scurrilous in Satire,
Nor will in Panegyrick flatter.
Unjustly Poets we asperse ;
Truth shines the brighter, clad in Verse:
And all the Fictions they pursue,
Do but infinuate what is true.
Praises owe their Truth
To Beauty, Dress, or Paint, or Youth,
What Stoicks call without our Power ;
They could not be insur'd an Hour :
'Twere grafting on an annual Stock,
That must our Expectation mock,
And making one luxuriant Shoot,
Die the next Year for want of Root :
Before I could my Verses bring,
Perhaps you're quite another Thing.
So Mævius, when he drain'd his Skull
To celebrate some Suburb Trull;
His Similies in Order set,
And ev'ry Crainbo he could get ;
Had gone through all the common Places,
Worn out by Wits who rhyme on Faces;
Before he could his Poem close,
The lovely Nymph had lost her Nose,
Your Virtues fafely I commend;
They on no Accidents depend:
Let Malice look with all her Eyes,
She dares not say, the Poet lyes.
ŠTELLA, when you these Lines transcribe,
should take them for a Bribe ;
Resolv'd to mortify your Pride,
I'll here expose your weaker Side.
Your Spirits kindle to a Flame;
Mov'd with the lightest Touch of Blame z
And when a Friend in Kindness tries
To Thew you where your Error lies,
Conviction does but more incense ;
Perverseness is your whole Defence :
Truth, Judgment, Wit, give Place to Spight,
Regardless both of Wrong and Right.
Your Virtues, all suspended, wait
Till Time hath open'd Reason's Gate:
And what is worse, your Passion bends
Its Force against your nearest Friends;
Which Manners, Decency, and Pride,
Have taught you from the World to hide.
In vain ; for fee, your Friend hath brought
To publick Light your only Fau't;
And yet a Faule we often find
Mix'd in a noble generous Mind ;
And may compare to Ætna's Fire,
Which, tho' with trembling, all admire ;
The Heat, that makes the Summit glow,
Enriching all the Vales below.
Those, who in warmer Climes complain,
From Phebus" Rays they suffer Pain;
Must own, that Pain is largely paid
By gen'rous Wines beneath a Shade.
Yet, when I find your Passions rise,
And Anger sparkling in your Eyes,
I grieve those Spirits should be spent,
For nobler Ends by Nature meant.
One Passion with a diff'rent Turn,
Makes Wit inflame, or Anger burn;
So the Sun's Heat, by diff'rent Pow'rs,
Ripens the Grape, the Liquor fours.
Thus Ajax, when with Rage poffeft,
Pallas breath'd into his Breast,
His Valour would no more employ,
Which might alone have conquer'd Troy
But, blinded by Resentment, seeks
For Vengeance on his Friends, the Greeks.
You think this Turbulence of Blood
From stagnating preserves the Flood;
Which, thus fermenting, by Degrees
Exalts the Spirits, sinks the Lees.
STELLA, for once you reason wrongs
For should his Ferment last too long,
By Time subsiding, you may find
Nothing but Acid left behind.
From Passion you may then be freed,
When Peevishness and Spleen succeed.