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Last year, a lad hence by his parents sent With other cattle to the city went; Where having cast his coat, and well pursued The methods most in fashion to be lewd, Return'd a finish'd spark this summer down, Stock'd with the freshest gibberish of the town; A jargon form’d from the lost language, wit, Confounded in that Babel of the pit; Form'd by diseased conceptions, weak and wild, Sick lust of souls, and an abortive child; Born between whores and fops, by lewd compacts, Before the play, or else between the acts; Nor wonder, if from such polluted minds Should spring such short and transitory kinds, Or crazy rules to make us wits by rote, Last just as long as ev'ry cuckoo's note: What bungling, rusty tools, are us'd by fate! 'Twas in an evil hour to urge my hate, My hate, whose lash just Heaven has long decreed Shall on a day make sin and folly bleed :* When man's ill genius to mý presence sent This wretch, to rouse my wrath, for ruin meant ; Who in his idiom vile, with Gray's-Inn grace, Squander'd his noisy talents to my face; Nam'd every player on his fingers ends, Swore all the wits were his peculiar friends ; Talk'd with that saucy and familiar ease Of Wycherly, and you, and Mr Bays: † Said, how a late report your friends had vex'd, Who heard you meant to write heroics next;


* Thus early in life did Swift feel the efforts of his genius struggling for birth, and prognosticate its vigorous exertions &gainst vice and folly, when arrived at maturity.-S.

+ Dryden, whom Swift never mentions with reverence.

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For, tragedy, he knew, would lose you quite,
And told you so at Will's but t'other night. *

Thus are the lives of fools a sort of dreams,
Rend'ring shades, things, and substances of names;
Such high companions may delusion keep,
Lords are a footboy's cronies in his sleep.
As a fresh miss, by fancy, face, and gown,
Render'd the topping beauty of the town,
Draws ev'ry rhyming, prating, dressing sot,
To boast of favours that he never got ;
Of which, whoe'er lacks confidence to prate,
Brings his good parts and breeding in debate;
And not the meanest coxcomb you can find,
But thanks his stars, that Phillis has been kind
Thus prostitute my Congreve's name is grown
To ev'ry lewd pretender of the town.
'Troth I could pity you; but this is it,
You find, to be the fashionable wit;
These are the slaves whom reputation chains,
Whose maintenance requires no help from brains,
For, should the vilest scribbler to the pit,
Whoin sin and want e'er furnish'd out a wit;
Whose name must not within my lines be shown,
Lest here it live, when perish'd with his own; +
Should such a wretch usurp my Congreve's place,
And choose out wits who ne'er have seen his face ;
I'll be my life but the dull cheat would pass,
Nor need the lion' conceal the ass;

* There was probably some report stirring concerning the Mourning Bride, which, however, did not appear till 1697.

+ To this resolution Swist ever after adhered; for of the infi. "nite multitude of libellers who personally attacked him, there is not the name inentioned of any one of them throughout his works ; and thus, together with their writings, have they been consigued to eternal oblivion.-S.

Yes, that beau's look, that vice, those critic ears,
Must needs be right, so well resemlling theirs.

Perish the Muse's hour, thus vainly spent
In satire, to my Congreve's praises meant;
In how ill season her resentments rule,
What's that to her if mankind be a fool ?
Happy beyond a private muse's fate,
In pleasing all that's good among the great,
Where though her elder sisters crowding throng,
She still is welcome with her inn'cent song ;
Whom were my Congreve blest to see and know,
What poor regards would merit all below!
How proudly would he haste the joy to meet,
And drop his laurel at Apollo's feet.

Here by a mountain's side, a reverend cave Gives murmuring passage to a lasting wave; 'Tis the world's wat’ry hour-glass streaming fast, Time is no more when th’ utmost drop is past; Here, on a better day, some druid dwelt, And the young muse's early favour felt; Druid, a name she does with pride repeat, Confessing Albion once her darling seat; Far in this primitive cell might we pursue Our predecessors' footsteps still in view; Here would we sing—But, ah! you think I dream, And the bad world may well believe the same; Yes: you are all malicious standers by, While two fond lovers prate, the Muse, and I.

Since thus I wander from my first intent, Nor am that grave adviser which I meant, Take this short lesson from the god of bays, And let my friend apply it as he please :

* This alludes to Sir William Temple, to whom he gives the name of Apollo in a few lines after.S.

Beat not the dirty paths where vulgar feet have


But give the vigorous fancy room. For when like stupid alchymists you try

To fix this nimble god,

This volatile mercury,
The subtile spirit all flies up in fume;

Nor shall the bubbled virtuoso find
More than a fade insipid mixture left behind.

While thus I write, vast shoals of critics come,
And on' my verse pronounce their saucy doom;
The muse, like some bright country virgin, shows
Fall'n by mishap among a knot of beaux;
They, in their lewd and fashionable prate,
Rally her dress, her language, and her gait;
Spend their base coin before the bashful maid,
Current like copper, and as often paid :
She, who on shady banks has joy'd to sleep;
Near better animals, her father's sheep:
Shamed and amazed, beholds the chattering throng,
To think what cattle she is got among;
But with the odious smell and sight annoy'd,
In haste she does th' offensive herd avoid.t

'Tis time to bid my friend a long farewell,
The Muse retreats far in yon crystal cell;
Faint inspiration sickens as she flies,
Like distant echo spent, the spirit dies.

In this descending sheet you'll haply find
Some short refreshment for your weary mind,

* Out of an Ode I writ, inscribed " The Poet.” The rest of it is lost.- Original.

+ Would not one imagine that Swift had at this time already conceived his idea of the Yahoos?--S.

Nought it contains is common or unclean,
And once drawn up, is ne'er let down again * .





STRANGE to conceive, how the same objects strike
At distant hours the mind with forms so like!
Whether in time, Deduction's broken chain
Meets, and salutes her sister link again;
Or hunted Fancy, by a circling flight,
Comes back with joy to its own seat at night;
Or whether dead Imagination's ghost
Oft hovers where alive it haunted most;
Or if Thought's rolling globe, her circle run,


old objects to the soul her sun; Or loves the muse to walk with conscious pride O’er the glad scene whence first she rose à bride :

Be what it will; late near yon whisp’ring stream, Where her own Temple was her darling theme; There first the visionary sound was heard, When to poetic view the Muse appear'd. Such seem'd her eyes, as when an evening ray Gives glad farewell to a tempestuous day ; Weak is the beam to dry up nature's tears, Still ev'ry tree the pendent sorrow wears ;

* The allusion, I am afraid, is to the vision of St Paul in the Acts of the Apostles.

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