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The burthen of his amorous verse,
And charming melter of his purse,
While happy Rebus tells the name
Of His and DRURY's common Flame ?
How will the wretch at Bacchus' shrine,
Betray the cause of wit and wine,
And waste in bawdy, port, and pun,
In taste a very Goth or Hun,
Those little hours, of value more
Than all the round of time before ;
When fancy brightens with the flask,
And the heart speaks without a mask ?
Must Thou, whose genius, dull and cool,
Is muddy as the stagnant pool;
Whose torpid soul and sluggish brains
Dullness pervades, and Wine disdains;
Must Thou to nightly taverns run,
APOLLO's guest, and Jonson's son?
And in thy folly's beastly fit,
Attempt the sallies of a wit?
Art thou the child of PH@bus' choir ?
Think of the Adage-Ass and Lyre *.
If thou wouldst really succeed, And be a mimic wit indeed,
Let DRYDEN lend thee SHEFFIELD's blows, Or like WiLL. DAVENANT lose your nose.
O LUCIAN, Sire of ancient wit,
Who wedding HUMOUR, didst beget
Those doctors in the laughing school,
Those Giant sons of RIDICULE,
SWIFT, RAB'LAIS, and * that favourite Child,
Who, less eccentrically wild,
Inverts the misanthropic Plan,
And hating vices, hates not Man :
How do I love thy gibing vein!
Which glances at the mimic train
Of sots, who proud as modern beaux
Of birth-day suits, and tinsel clothes,
Affecting cynical grimace
With philosophic stupid face,
In dirty hue, with naked feet,
rags and tatters, stroll the street ;
OSTENSIVELY exceeding wise,
But Knaves, and Fools, and walking Lies,
External Mimicry their plan,
The Monkey's copy after Man.
Wits too possess this affectation,
And live a life of imitation,
* The late inimitable HENRY FIELDING, Esq.
Are Slovens, Revellers, and Brutes,
Laborious, absent, prattlers, mutes,
From some example handed down
Of some great Genius of Renown..
If ADDISON, from habit's irick,
Could bite his fingers to the quick,
Shall not I nibble from design,
And be an ADDISON to mine?
If POPE most feelingly complains
Of aching head, and throbbing pains,
My head and arm his posture hit,
And I already ache for wit.
If CHURCHILL, following Nature's call,
Has head that never aches at all,
With burning brow, and heavy eye,
I'll give my looks and pain the lie.
If huge tall words of termination, Which ask a Critic's explanation, Come rolling out along with thought, And seem to stand just where they ought; If language more in grammar drest, With greater emphasis exprest, Unstudied, unaffected flows, In some great Wit's conversing prose; If from the tongue the period round Fall into style, and swell to sound,
'Tis nature which herself displays, And Johnson speaks a JOHNSON's phrase.
But can you hear, without a smile,
The formal coxcomb ape his style,
Who, most dogmatically wise,
Attempts to censure, and despise,
Affecting what he cannot reach,
A trim propriety of speech?
What though his pompous Language wear
The grand decisive solemn Air,
Where quaint ANTITHESIS prevails,
And Sentences are weighed in scales,
Can you bow down with reverend awe
Before this puppet king of straw!
Or hush'd in mute attention, sit,
To hear this CRITIC, POET, Wit,
PHILOSOPHER, all, all at once,
And to complete them all, this-DUNCE?
-All this you'll say is mighty fine,
But what has this to do with Wine ?
Have patience and the Muse shall tell
What you, my friend, know full as well.
Vices in Poets, Wits and Kings,
Are catching, imitable things;
And frailties standing out to view,
Become the objects fools pursue
Thus have I pictures often seen,
Where features neither speak nor mean,
Yet spite of all, the Face will strike,
And mads us that it should be like,
When all the near resemblance grows
From scratch or pimple on the Nose.
To Poets then (I mean not here
The scribbling Drudge, or scribbling Peer,
Nor those who have the monthly fit,
The Lunatics of modern Wit)
To Poets Wine is inspiration,
Blockheads get drunk in imitation.
As different Liquors different ways
Affect the body, sometimes raise
The fancy to an Eagle's flight,
And make the heart feel wondrous light;
At other times the circling mug,
Like LeThe's draught, or opiate drug,
Will strike the senses on a heap,
When Folks talk wise, who talk asleep;
A whimsical imagination,
Might form a whimsical relation,
Author writes and thinks
Analagous to what he drinks,
While quaint Conjecture's lucky bit,
Finds out his bev’rage in his Wit.