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Would act, design, engrave, write, paint,
But neither from the least constraint,
Who hated all pedantic schools,

And scorn'd the gloss of knowing fools,
That hold perfection all in all,
Yet treat it as mechanical,
And give the same sufficient rule
To make a poem, as a stool—
From the first spring-time of his youth,
Was downright worshipper of truth;
And with a free and liberal spirit,
His courtship paid to Lady MERIT.
ENVY, a squint-ey'd, mere old maid,
Well known among the scribbling trade;
A hag, so very, very, thin,

Her bones peep'd through her bladder-skin;
Who could not for her soul abide

That folks shou'd praise, where she must chide,
Follow'd the Youth where'er he went,

To mar each good and brave intent;
Would lies, and plots, and mischief hatch,
To ruin HIM and spoil the match.
Honour she held at bold defiance,

Talk'd much of Faction, Gang, Alliance,
As if the real sons of taste

Had clubb'd to lay a DESART waste.

In short, wherever GENIUS came, You'd find this Antiquated Dame; Whate'er he did, where'er he went, She follow'd only to torment; Call'd MERIT by a thousand names, Which decency or truth disclaims, While all her business, toil, and care, Was to depreciate, lye, compare, To pull the Modest Maiden down, And blast her fame to all the town. The Youth, inflam'd with conscious pride, To Prince POSTERITY apply'd,


gave his answer thus in rhyme, By his chief minister, Old TIME. "Repine not at what pedants say, "We'll bring thee forward on the way; "If wither'd ENVY strive to hurt "With lies, with impudence, and dirt, "You only pay a common tax

"Which fool, and knave, and dunce exacts. "Be this thy comfort, this thy joy,


Thy strength is in it's prime, my boy, "And ev'ry year thy vigour grows, my foes.

"Impairs the credit of

“ENVY shall sink, and be no more,

"Than what her NAIADS were before;

Mere excremental maggots, bred
In poet's topsy-turvy head,
Born like a momentary fly,
'To flutter, buzz about, and die.

"Yet, GENIUS, mark what I presage,
Who look through every distant age:
MERIT shall bless thee with her charms,
FAME lift thy offspring in her arms,

"And stamp eternity of grace "On all thy numerous various race. "ROUBILLIAC, WILTON, names as high "As Phidias of antiquity,

"Shall strength, expression, manner give, "And make e'en marble breathe and live; "While SIGISMUNDA's deep distress, "Which looks the soul of wretchedness, "When I, with slow and soft'ning pen, "Have gone o'er all the tints agen, "Shall urge a bold and proper claim "To level half the ancient fame; "While future ages yet unknown * "With critic air shall proudly own "Thy HOGARTH first of every clime, "For humour keen, or strong sublime, "And hail him from his fire and spirit, "The Child of GENIUS and of MARIT."





GENIUS, blest term, of meaning wide,

For sure no term so misapply'd,

How many bear thy sacred name,
That never felt a real flame!
Proud of the specious appellation,

Thus fools have christen'd inclination.
But yet suppose a genius true,
Exempli gratia, me or you:

Whate'er he tries with due attention,
Rarely escapes his apprehension;
Surmounting ev'ry opposition,
You'd swear he learnt by intuition.
Shou'd he rely alone on parts,
And study therefore but by starts?
Sure of success whene'er he tries,
Should he forego the means to rise?
Suppose your watch a Graham make,
Gold, if you will, for value's sake ;


It's springs within in order due,
No watch, when going, goes so true;
If ne'er wound up with proper care,
What service is it in the wear?

Some genial spark of Phoebus' rays,
Perhaps within your bosom plays:
O how the purer rays aspire,
If application fans the fire!

Without it Genius vainly tries,
Howe'er sometimes it seem to rise :
Nay application will prevail,

When braggart parts and Genius fail:
And now to lay my proof before ye,
I here present you with a story.

In days of yore, when time was young,
When birds convers'd as well as sung,
When use of speech was not confin'd
Merely to brutes of human kind,
A forward Hare, of swiftness vain,
The Genius of the neighb'ring plain,
Wou'd oft deride the drudging croud:
(For Geniuses are ever proud).

He'd boast, his flight 'twere vain to follow,
For dog and horse he'd beat them hollow;
Nay, if he put forth all his strength,
Outstrip his brethren half a length.

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