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THE ELECTION OF A POET LAUREAT

IV M.DCC.XIX.

A Famous assembly was fummon’d of late :

To crown a new Laureat, came Phæbus in state. With all that Montfaucon himself could desireng His bow, laurel, harp, and abundance of fire. At Bartlemew-fair ne'er did bullies so justle, No country-election e'er made such a bufile : From garret, Mins, tavern, they all post away, Some thirsting for fack, foine ambitious of way. All came with full confidence, Alumd with vain hope, From Cibber and Durfey, to Prior and Pope. Phæbus smild on these lait, but yet ne'er theless, Said, he hop'd they had got enough by the prets. With a huge mountain-load of heroical lumber, Which from Tonion to Curll every press had groan'd

under ; Came Blackmore, and cry'd, Look, all these are my lays, But at present I beg you'd but read my Eliays. Lampooners and critics ruíh'd in like a tide, Stern Dennis and Gildon came first side-by-side. Apollo confess'd that their lashes had stings, But beadles and hangmen were never chofe kings. H 4

Steele

1

Steele long had so cunningly manag'd the town,
He could not be blam’d for expecting the crown;
Apollo demurr’d as to granting his wish,
But withid him good luck in his project of fish.
Lame Congreve, unable such things to endure,
Of Apollo begg'd either a crown or a cure ;
To refuse such a writer, Apollo was loth,
And almost inclin’d to have granted him both.
When Buckingham came, he scarce car'd to be seen,
Till Phæbus desir'd his old friend to walk in;
But a laureat peer had never been known,
The commoners claim'd that place as their own.
Yet if the kind god had been ne'er fo inclin'd
To break an old rule, yet he well knew his mind,
Who of such preferment would only make sport,
And laugh'd at all suitors for places at court.
Notwithstanding this law, yet Lansdowne was nam’d,
But Apollo with kindness his indolence blam’d,
And said he would chuse him, but that he should fear
An employment of trouble he never could bear.
A prelate * for wit and for eloquence fam’d,
Apollo foon miss’d, and he needs not be nam’d;
Since amidst a whole bench, of which some are so bright,
No one of them Thines so lcarn’d and polite.
To Shippen, Apollo was cold with respect,
Since he for the state could the Mufes neglect:

1

* Dr. Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester.

But

But said, in a greater assembly he shin'd,
And places were things he had ever declin'd.
Trapp, Young, and Vanbrugh, expected reward,
For some things writ well : but Apollo declar'd
That one was too flat, the other too rough,
And the third fure already had places enough.
Pert Budgell came next, and, demanding the bays,
Said, those works must be good, which had Addison's

praise ;
But Apollo reply'd, Child Eustace, 'tis known,
Most authors will praise whatsoever 's their own.
Then Philips came forth, as starch as a Quaker,
Whose simple profeffion's a Pastoral-maker;
Apollo advis’d him from playhouse to keep,
And pipe to nought else but his dog and his sheep.
Hughes, Fenton, and Gay, came last in the train,
Too modest to ask for the crown they would gain
Phæbus thought them too bafhful, and said they would

need More boldness, if ever they hop'd to succeed. Apollo, now driven to a curfed quandary, Was wishing for Swift, or the fam'd Lady Mary : Nay, had honest Tom Southerne but been within call... But at last he grew wanton, and laugh'd at them all : And so spying one who came only to gaze, A hater of verse, and despiser of plays ;

To

:

To him in great form, without any delay,
(Though a zealous fanatic) presented the bay.
All the wits stood astonish'd at hearing the god
So gravely pronounce an election fo odd;
And though Prior and Pope only laugh'd in his face,
Most others were ready to sink in the place.
Yet some thought the vacancy open was kept,
Concluding the bigot would never accept:
But the hypocrite told them, he well understood,
Though the function was wicked, the stipend was good.
At last in rush'd Eufden, and cry'd, “Who shall have it,
“ But I, the true laureat, to whom the king gave it?"
Apollo begg'd pardon, and granted his claim ;
But vow'd, though, till then he ne'er heard of his name.

Ο Ν

T H E

T I M E S.

SINCE in vain our parsons teach,

Hear, for once, a poet preach.
Vice has lost its very name,
Skill and cozenage thought the same ;
Only playing well the game.
Foul contrivances we see
Call'd but ingenuity :
Ample fortunes often made
Out of frauds in every trade,
Which an aukward child afford
Enough to wed the greatest lord.

The

The miser starkes to raise a son,
But, if once the fool is gone,
Vears of thrift scarce serve a day,
Rake-hell squanders all away.
Husbands fecking for a place,

Or toiling for their pay;
While their wives undo their race

By petticoats and play:
Breeding boys to drink and dice,
Carrying girls to comedies,
Where mama 's intrigues are shown,
Which ere long will be their own.
Having first at sermon Nept,
Tedious day is weekly kept
By worse hypocrites than men,
Till Monday comes to cheat again.
Ev’n among the nobleft-born,
Moral virtue is a scorn;
Gratitude, but rare at best,
And fidelity a jest.
All our wit but party-mocks,
All our wisdom raising stocks :
Counted folly to defend
Sinking fide, or falling friend.
Long an officer may serve,
Prais’d and wounded, he may ftarve :
No receipt, to make him rise,
Like inventing loyal lies:
We, whose ancestors have shin'd

In arts of peace, and fields of fame,
To ill and idleness inclin'd,

Now are grown a public thame.

Fatal

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