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Great sir, than Phæbus more divine,
Whose verses far his rays outshine,
Look down upon your quondam foe;
O! let me never write again,
If e'er I disoblige you, Dean,
Should you compassion show.
Take those iambicks which I wrote,
When anger made me piping hot,
And give them to your cook,
To singe your fowl, or save your paste,
The next time when you have a feast;
They'll save you many a book.
To burn them, you are not content;
To sink them in the harbour :
If not, they'll serve to set off blocks,
To roll on pipes, and twist in locks;
So give them to your barber.
Or, when you next your physick take,
I must entreat you then to make
A proper application; 'Tis what I've done myself before, With Dan's fine thoughts, and many more,
Who gave me provocation.
What cannot mighty anger do?
It makes the weak the strong pursue,
A goose attack a swan;
It makes a woman, tooth and nail,
Her husband's hands and face assail,
While he's no longer man.
Though some, we find, are more discreet,
Before the world are wondrous sweet,
And let their husbands hector : But, when the world's asleep, they wake, That is the time they choose to speak;
Witness the curtain lecture.
Such was the case with you, I find:
All day you could conceal your mind;
But when St. Patrick's chimes
Awak'd your Muse (my midnight curse,
When I engag‘d for better for worse)
You scolded with your rhymes.
Have done! have done! I quit the field,
To you, as to my wife, I yield :
As she must wear the breeches : So shall you wear the laurel crown, Win it, and wear it, 'tis your own;
The poet's only riches.
BEC'S * BIRTHDAY. Nov. 8, 1726.
Tuis.day, dear Bec, is thy nativity;
Had Fate a luckier one, she'd give it ye:
She chose a thread of greatest length,
And doubly twisted it for strength;
Nor will be abie with ber shears
To cut it off these forty years.
Then who says care will kill a cat?
Rebecca shows they're out in that.
For she, though overrun with care,*-
Continues healthy, fat, and fair.
As, if the gout should seize the head,
Doctors pronounce the patient dead;
But, if they can, by all their arts,
Eject it to th' extremest parts,
They give the sick man joy, and praise
The gout that will prolong his days.
Rebecca thus I gladly greet,
Who drives her cares to bands and feet :
For, though philosophers maintain
The limbs are guided by the brain,
Quite contrary Rebecca's led,
Her hands and feet conduct her head,
By arbitrary power convey her,
She ne'er considers why, or where :
Her hands may meddle, feet may wander,
Her head is but a mere by.stander;
And all her bustling but supplies
The part of wholesome exercise.
Thus nature has resoly'd to pay her
The cat's nine lives, and eke the care.
Long may she live, and help her friends Whene'er it suits her private ends ; Domestick business never mind Till coffee has her stomach lin'd; But, when her breakfast gives her courage, Then think on Steila's chicken-porridge ; I mean when Tiger * has been serv'd, Or else poor Stella may be starv’d.
May Bec have many an evening nap, With Tiger slabbering in her lap;
* Mrs. Dingley's favourite lap dog. N.
But always take a special care
She does not overset the chair !
Still be she curious, never hearken
To any speech but Tiger's barking!
And when she's in another scene,
Stella long dead, but first the Dean,
May fortune and her coffee get her
Companions that will please her better!
Whole afternoons will sit beside her,
Nor for neglects or blunders chide ber;
A goodly set as can be found
Of hearty gossips prating round;
Fresh from a wedding or a christening,
To teach ber ears the art of listening,
And please her more to hear them tattle,
Than the Dean storm, or Stella rattle.
Late be her death, one gentle nod,
When Hermes, waiting with his rod,
Shall to Elysian fields invite her,
Where there will be no cares to fright her!
Pray steal me not ; I'm Mrs. Dingley's, Whose heart in this fourfooted thing lies.
MOST OF THEM WRITTEN IN 1726.
We fly from luxury and wealth,
To hardships in pursuit of health ;
From generous wines and costly fare,
And dozing in an easy chair ;
Pursue the goddess Health in vain,
To find her in a country scene,
And every where her footsteps trace,
And see her marks in every face;
And still her favourites we meet,
Crowding the roads with naked feet.
But, oh! so faintly we pursue,
We ne'er can have her full in view.
The glass, by lovers’ nonsense blurrd,
Dims and obscures our sight :
So when our passions Love has stirrd,
It darkens Reason’s light.
ANOTHER, AT CHESTER,
The church and clergy here, no doubt,
Are very near akin;
Both weatherbeaten are without ;
And empty both within.