Page images

Jays, form*d by nature Stage and Town to bless,
And act, and be, a Coxcomb with success.
Dulness with transport eyes the lively Dunce,
Rcmemb'ring she herself was Pertnels once.
Now (shame to Fortune!) an ill run at Play
Blank'd his bold vifage, and a thin Third day:
Swearing and sirpperless the Hero fate,
BUsphem'd his Gods, the Dice, and damn'd his Fate.
Then gnaw'd his pen, then dash'd it on the ground,
Sinking from thaught to thought, a vast profund!
Plung'd for his fense, but found no bottom there,
Vet wrote and flounder'd on in meer despair.
Round him much Embryo, much Abortion lay,
Much future Ode, and abdicated Play:

Variations. She ey'd the bard, where supperlcss he fate, And pin'd unconscious of his rising fate; Studious he fate, with all his books around, Sinking from thought to thought, &c.— Ver. 1*1. Round him much Embryo, &c.[ in the forœer Editions thus,

He roll'd his eyes that witness'd huge dismay, Where yet unpawn'd, much learned lumber lay;

Imitations. He roird his eyes that -witness'd huge dismay,] —round he throws his eyes, That -witness'd huge affliBion and dismay. Milt. B. 1. Nonsense precipitate, like running Lead,

That flip'd thro' Cracks and Zig-zags of the Head:

All that on Folly Frenzy couiu beget,

Fruits of dull Heat, and Sooterkins of Wit.

Next, o'er his Books his eyes began to roll,

In pleasing memory of all he stole,

How here he sip'd, how there he plunder'd snug,

And suck'd ail o'er, like an industrious Bug.

Here lay poor Fletcher's half-eat scenes, and here

The Frippery of crucifi'd Moliere;

There hapless Shakefpear, yet of Tibbald sore,

Wish'd he had blotted for himself before.

The rest on outside merit but presume,

Or serve (like other Fools) to fill a room;

Such with their shelves as due proportion hold,

Or their fond Parents drest in red and gold;

Volumes, whose size the space exactly fill'd,
Or which fond anthors were so good to gild,
Or where, by sculpture made for ever known,
The page admires new beauties not its own.
Here swells the shelf, &c.—

The progress of a bad poet in his thoughts being (like
the progress of the Devil in Milton) through a Cham,
Blight probably suggest this imitation.

Or where the pictures for the page atone,

And Quarles is fav'd by beauties not his owu.

Here swells the shelf with Ogilby the great;

There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines complete;

Here all his siist'ring brotherhood retire.

And 'scape the martyrdom of jakes and fire:

A Gothic Library! of Grace and Rome

Well purg'd, and worthy Settle, Banks, and Blome.


Ver. 146. in the first Edit, it was

Well purg'd and worthy W—y, W—s, and Bl — And in the following alter'd to Withers, Quarles and Blome, on which was the following note.

It was printed in the surreptitious editions, WIj W—1, who were persons eminent for good life; the one wrote the Life of Christ in verse, the other some valuable pieces in the lyric kind on pious subjects. The line is here restor'd according to its original.

"George Withers, was a great pretender to poetical "zeal againstthe vices of the times, and abused the "greatest personages in pow'r, which brought upon "Kim srequent Correliion. ThtMarJha/fea a.nd Nrw

Imi At-.ons. Ver. 140. In the former Ed.

The page admires new beauties not its own.) "Miraturque novas frondes et non sua poma."

Virg. George, ii,

But high above, more solid Learning shone, The Classics of an Age that heard of none; There Caxton slept, with Wynkyn at his side, One clasp'd in wood, and one in strong cow-hide; There, fav'd by spice, like Mummies, many a year, Dry Bodies of Divinity appear: De Lyra there a dreadful front extends, And here the groaning shelves Philemon bends.

Of these twelve volumes, twelve of amplest size, Redeem'd from tapers and defrauded pies, Inspir'd he seizes: These an altar raise: An hecatomb of pure, unsulli'd lays That altar crowns: a folio Common-place Founds the whole pile, of all his works the base-: Quartos, octavos, shape the less'ning pyre; A twisted Birth-day Ode completes the spire.

Then he: Great Tamer of all human art! First in my care, and ever at my heart; Dulness! whose good old cause I yet defend, With whom my muse began, with whom shall end,

Variations. "gate were no strangers to him." Winstanl*.

Quarks was as dull a writer, but an honester man.
Slome's books are remarkable for their cuts.
Ver. 162. A twisted, &c] In the former Ed.
And last, a little Ajax tips the Spire.
Ver. 166. With -whom my Muje began, -with -whom
stall 'nd-1

E'er since Sir Fopling's Periwig was Praise,
To the last honours of the Butt and Bays:
O thou! of Bus'ness the directing soul!
To this our head like bias to the bowl,
Which, as more pond'rous, made its aim more true,
Obliquely wadling to the mark in view:
O! ever gracious to perplex'd mankind,
Still spread a healing mist before the mind;
And, lest we err by Wit's wild dancing light,
Secure us kindly in our native night.
Or, if to Wit a Coxcomb make pretence,
Guard the sure barrier between that and Sense;

Variations. Ver. 177. Or, is to Wit, &c] In the former Edit. Ah! still o'er Britain stretch that peaceful wand, Which lulls th' Helvetian and Batavian land; Where rebel to thy throne if Science rise, She does but show her coward face and dies: There thy good Scholiasts with unweary'd pains Make Horace flat, and humble Maro's strains: Here studious 1 unlucky moderns fave, Nor sleeps one error in its father's grave,

Imitations. •" A te principium, tibi desinet."—Virg. Eel. viii. 'En Aiif xpxa/tttrQtt, *, wf Ai« Knytrt Mwnti.

Theoc. "Prima dicte mihi, summa dicende Camoena." Voi. IV. G Hor.

« PreviousContinue »