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Not register' d in Heav'n—he mocks at grace,
Fly, then, whilst yet 'tis in thy pow'r to fly:
'Gainst common fame—place H in thy view;
He keeps one whore as Barrowhy kept two;
Trust not to marriage—T took a wife,
Who chaste as Dian might have pass'd her life,
S—-'s a married man, and S new wed.
Would'st thou be safe? Society forswear,
But if the thoughts of solitude alarm,
Where is the mother, whose officious zeal
TIMES. 369Nor (could her wishes and her care prevail)
And hrighter than the noon-day Sun, adorn
Broke down, and strength a stranger to his hed,
Old L , though yet alive, is dead;
T lives no more, or lives not to our isle;
No longer blest with a Cz 's smile,
T is at P •• disgrac'd,
And M grown grey, perforce grows chaste;
Nor, to the credit of our modest race,
Where is the mother, who thinks all her pain,
That sense, with more than manly vigour fi auglit, That fortitude of soul, that stretch of tliought, B h
That genius, great beyond the narrow bound Of Earth's low walk, that judgment perfect found When wanted most, that purity of taste Which critics mention by the name of chaste; Adorn'd with elegance, that easy flow Of ready wit which never made a foe, That face, that form, that dignity, that ease, Those pow'rs of pleasing with that will to please, By which Lepel, when in her youthful days, E'en from the currish pope extorted praise, We see, transmitted, in her daughter shine, And view a new Lepel in Caroline. Is a son born into this world of woe? In never-ceasing streams let sorrow flow; Be from that hour the house with sables hung, Let lamentations dwell upon thy tongue, E'en from the moment that he first began To wail and whine; let him not see a man; ~Lock, lock him up, far from the public eye, Give him no opportunity to buy, Or to be bought: B , though rich, was sold, And gave his body up to shame for gold.
Let it be bruited all about the town, That he is coarse, indelicate, and brown, An antidote to lust, his face deep scarr'd With the small-pox, his body maim'd and marr'd, Eat up with the king's evil, and his blood, Tainted throughout, a thick and putrid flood, Where dwells Corruption, making him all o'er, From head to foot, a rank and running sore. Should'st thou report him as by Nature made, He is undone, and by thy praise betray'd; Give him out fair, letchers in number more, More brutal and more fierce, than throng'd the door Of Lot in Sodom, shall to thine repair, And force a passage, though a God is there.
Let him not have one servant that is male; Where lords are baffled, servants oft prevail. Some vices they propose, to all agree;
H was guilty, but was M free?
Give him no tutor—throw him to a punk, Rather than trust his morals to a monk— Monks we all know—we, who have liv'd at home, From fair report, and travellers, who roam, More feelingly—nor trust him to the gown, 'Tis oft a covering in this vile town For base designs; ourselves have liv'd to see More than one parson in the pillory. Should he have brothers, (image to thy view A scene, which, though not public made, is true) Let not one brother be to t' other known, Nor let his father sit with him alone. Be all his servants female, young, and fair, And if the pride of Nature spur thy heir To deeds of venery, if, hot and wild, He chance to get some score of maids with child, Chide, but forgive him; whoredom is a crime, Which, more at this than any other time, Calls for indulgence, and, 'mongst such a race, To have a bastard is some sign of grace.
Born in such times, should I sit tamely down, Suppress my rage, and saunter through the town As one who knew not, or who shar'd these crimes? Should I at lesser evils point my rhymes, And let this Giant Sin, in the full eye Of Observation, pass unwounded by? Though our meek wives, passive obedience taught, Patiently bear those wrongs for which they ought, With the brave spirit of their dams possess'd, To plant a dagger in each husband's breast,
To cut oft* male increase from this fair isle,
Let them fly far, and skulk from place to place,
Happy the bard (though few such bards we find) Who, 'bove controlmcnt, dares to speak his mind; Dares, unabash'd, in ev'ry place appear, And nothing fears, but what he ought to fear. Him Fashion cannot tempt, him abject Need Cannot compel, him Pride cannot mislead To be the slave of Greatness, to strike sail, When, sweeping onward with her peacock's tail, Quality, in full plumage, passes by; He views her with a fix'd, contemptuous eye. And mocks the puppet, keeps his own due state, And is above conversing with the great. Perish those slaves, those minions of the quill, Who have conspir'd to seize that sacred hill Where the Nine Sisters pour a genuine strain, And sunk the mountain level with the plain; Who, with mean, private views, and servile art, No spark of virtue living in their heart, Have basely turn'd apostates, have debas'd Their dignity of office, have disgrae'd, Like Eli's sons, the altars where they stand, And caus'd their name to stink through all tinHave stoop'd to prostitute their venal pen For the support of great but guilty men, Have made the bard, of their own vile accord, Inferior to that thing we call a lord.
What is a lord * Doth that plain, simple word Contain some magic spell? As soon as heard, Like an alarum-bell on Night's dull ear, Doth it strike louder, and more strong appear Than other words? Whether we will or no, Through Reason's court doth it nnquestion'd ge
Pen on the mention, and of course transmit
The blessings she hestow'd.—She gave them eyes, And they could see—she gave them ears—they heard— The instruments of stirring, and they stirr'd— Like us, they were design'd to eat, to drink, To talk, and (ev'ry now and then) to think:Till they, by pride corrupted, for the sake Of singularity, disclaim'd that make;Till they, disdaining Nature's vulgar mode, Flew off, and struck into another road, More fitting quality, and to our view Came forth a species altogether new, Something we had not known, and could not know, Like nothing of God's making here below;Nature exclaim'd with wonder—" Lords are things, Which, never made by me, were made by kings."
A lord (nor let the honest and the brave, The true, old noble with the fool and knave Here mix his fame; curst be that thought of mine, Which with a B— and F— should Grafton join) A lord (nor here let censure rashly call My just contempt of some, abuse of all, And as of late, when Sodom was my theme, Slander my purpose, and my Muse hlaspheme, Because she stops not, rapid in her song, To make exceptions as she goes along, Though well she hopes to find, another year, A whole minority exceptions here) A mere, mere ford, *ith nothing but the name, Wealth all his worth, and title all his fame, Lives on another man; himself a blank, Thankless he lives, or must some grandsire thank For smuggled honours, and ill-gotten pelf; A hard owes all to Nature and himself.
Gods, how my soul is burnt up with disdain, When I see men, whom Phoebus in his train Might view with pride, lacquey the heels of those Whom Genius ranks amongst her greatest foes! And what's the cause? Why these same sons of No thanks to them, were to a title horn, [Scorn, And could not help it; by chance hither sent, And only deities hy accident. Had fortune on our getting chane'd to shine, Their hirthright honours had heen your's or mine. Twas a mere random stroke; and should the Throne Eye thee with favour, proud and lordly grown, Thou, though a hard, might'st he their fellow yet, But Felix never can he made a wit . No, in good faith—that's one of those few things Which Fate has plae'd heyond the reach of kings. Bards may be lords, but 'tis not in the cards, Play how we will, to turn lords into bards.
A hard—a lord—why let them hand in hand Go forth as friends, and travel through the land; Ohserve which word the people can digest Most readily, which goes to market hest, Which gets most credit; whether men will trust A hard hecause they think he may he just, Or on a lord will choose to risk their gains, Though privilege in that point still remains.
A hard—a lord—let Reason take her scales, And fairly weigh those words; see which prevails, Which in the balance lightly kicks the beam, And which by sinking, we the victor deem.
Tis done, and Hermes, by command of Jove, Summons a synod in the sacred grove. Gods throng with gods to take their chairs on high, And sit in state the senate of the sky; Whilst, in a kind of parliament helow, Men stare at those ahove, and want to know What they 're transacting. Reason takes her stand Just in the midst, a balance in her hand, Which o'er and o'er she tries, and finds it true. From either side, conducted full in view, A man comes forth, of figure strange and queer; We now and then see something like them here.
The ,^r»f was meagre, flimsy, void of strength, But Nature kindly had made up in length What she in hreadth denied. Erect and proud, A head and shoulders taller than the crowd. Fie deem'd them pigmies all: loose hung his skin O'er his hare hones; his face so very thin, So very narrow, and so much heat out. That physiognomists have made a douht, Proportion lost, expression quite forgot, Whether it could he call'd a face or not; At end of it howe'er, unhless'd with heard. Some twenty fathom length of chin appear'd: With legs, which we might well conceive that Fate Meant only to support a spider's weight, Firmly he strove to tread, and with a stride Which show'd at once his weakness and his pride, Shaking himself to pieces, seem'd to cry, "Ohserve, good people, how I shake the sky."
In his right-hand a paper did he hold, On which, at large, in characters of gold, Distinct, and plain for those who run to see, Saint Archibald had wrote L, O, R, I). This, with an air of scorn, he from afar Twirl'd into Reason's scales, and on that bar, Which from his soul he hated, yet admir'd, Quick turn'd his back, and as he came retir'd. The judge to all around his name declar'd; Each goddess titter'd, each god laugh'd, Jove star'd, Aml the whole people cried, with one accord, "Good Heaven bless us all, is that a lord."'
Such was the Jlrtt—the second was a man, Whom Nature built on quite a diffrent plan; |,A heart whom from the moment he was horn, His dam despis'd, and left unlich'd in scorn; A Babel, which, the pow'r of Art outdone, She could not finish when she had begun; An utter chaos, out of which no might But that of God could strike one spark of light. Broad were his shoulders, and from blade to blade
A H might at full length have laid;
Vast were his hones, his muscles twisted strong;
O'er a hrown cassoe, which had once heen hlach,
Just at that time of life, when man by rule,
With such accoutrements, with such a form,
Nor think that Envy here hath strung my lyre, That I depreciate what I most admire; And look on titles with an eye of scorn, Because I was not to a title born. Ry Him that made me, I am much more proud, More inly satisfied to have a crowd Point at me as I pass, and cry—" That's he— A poor, but honest bard, who dares be free Amidst corruption," than to have a train Of flick'ring levee-slaves, to make me vain Of things I ought to blush for; to run, fly, And live but in the motion of my eye; When I am less than man, my faults t' adore, And make me think that I am something more. Recall past times, bring back the days of old, When the great noble bore his honours bold, And in the face of peril, when he dar'd Things which his legal bastard, if declar'd. Might well discredit; faithful to his trust, In the extremest points of justice just, Well knowing all, and lov'd by all he knew, True to his king, and to his country true; Honest at court, above the baits of gain, Plain in his dress, and in his manners plain; Mod'rate in wealth, gen'rous but not profuse, Well worthy riches, for he knew their use;
Possessing much, and yet deserving more;
This justice claims, nor shall the bard forget,
By Nature form'd (when for her honour's sake She something more than common strove to make, When, overlooking each minute defect, And all too eager to be quite correct, In her full heat and vigour she imprest Her stamp more strongly on the favour'd breast) The bard (nor thiuk too lightly that I mean Those little, piddling witlings, who o'erween Of their small parts, the Murphys of the stage, The Masons and the Whiteheads of the age, Who all in raptures their own works rehearse, And drawl out measur'd prose, which they call verse) The real bard, whom native genius fires, Whom every maid of Castaly inspires, Let him consider wherefore he was meant, Let him but answer Nature's great intent, And fairly weigh himself with other men. Would ne'er debase the glories of his pen, Would in full state, like a true monarch, lire, Xor 'bate one inch of his prerogative.
Methinks I see old Wingate frowning here, (Wingato may in the season be a peer, ,..Though now, against his will, of figures sicsv , He 's fore'd to diet on arithmetic, E'en whilst he envies ev'ry Jew he meets
Who cries old clothes to sell about the streets) t
Methinks (his mind with future honours big,
Majaty hard prerogative Disdain
Hath got into, and turn'd the fellow's brain;To Bethlem with him—give him whips and straw—
How this is something like; on such a plan A bard may find a friend in a great man;But this proud coxcomb—zounds, I thought that all Of this queer tribe had been like my old Paul."
Injurious thought! accursed be the tongue On which the vile insinuation hung, The heart where 'twas engender'd! Curst be those, Those bards, who not themselves alone expose, But me, but all, and make the very name By which they 're call'd, a standing mark of shame.
Talk not of custom—'tis the coward's plea,
But why, when present times my care engage,
Hence, ye vain boasters, to the Fleet repair, And ask, with blushes ask, if I.tovo is there '. Patrons, in days of yore, were men of sense, Were men of taste, and had a fair pretence To rule in letters.—Some of them were heard To read off-hand, and never spell a word; Some of them too, to such a monstrous height Was learning risen, for themselves could write, And kept their secretaries, as the great Do many other foolish things, for state.
Our patrons are of quite a diff'rent strain, With neither sense nor taste, against the grain, They patronize for fashion sake—no more— And keep a bard, just as they keep a whore, Meleomhe' (on such occasion I am loth To name the dead) was a rare proof of hoth. Some of them would be puzzled e'en to read, Nor could deserve their clergy by their creed ( Others can write, but such a pagan hand, A Willes i should always at our elbow stand; Many, if begg'd, a chancellor, of right, Would order into keeping at first sight. Those who stand fairest to the public view, Take to themselves the praise to others due; They rob the very spital, and make free With those, alas I who've least to spare.—We see, hath not a word to say,
Since winds and waves bore Singlespeech away.
Patrons in days of yore, like patrons now, Expected that the haid should make his bow At coming in, and ev'ry now and then Hint to the world that they were more than men; But, like the patrons of the present day, They never bilk'd the poet of his pay. Virgil lov'd rural ease, and, far from harm, Maecenas fix'd him in a neat, snug farm, Where he might, free from trouble, pass his days In his own way, and pay his rent in praise. Horace lov'd wine, and, through his friend at court, Could buy it off the key in ev'ry port; Horace lov'd mirth, Maecenas lov'd it too, They met, they laugh'd, as Goy * and I may do, Nor in those moments paid the least regard To which was minister, and which was bard.
Not so our patrons—grave as grave can be, They know themselves, they keep up dignity; Bards are a forward race, nor is it fit That men of fortune rank with men of wit; Wit, if familiar made, will find her strength— Tis hest to keep her weak and at arms-length. Tis well enough for bards, if patrons give, From hand to mouth, the scanty means to live. Such is their language, and their practice such, They promise little, and they give not much. Let the weak bard, with prostituted strain, Praise that proud Scot, whom all good men disdain; What's his reward? Why, his own fame undone, He may obtain a patent for the run Of his lord's kitchen, and have ample time, With offal fed, to court the cook in rhyme; Or (if he strives true patriots to disgrace) May at the second tahle get a place,
i Mr. Lloyd died in the Fleet, Dec. IS, 1'76*, shortly after the publication of this poem.
'George Buhh Dodington, lord Meleomhe. He died July 28, I762.
i Decypherer to the state. * A Frenchman, secretary to Mr. Wilkes.