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235

But fick of fops, and poetry, and prate,
To Bufo left the whole Cafalian state.
Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
Sat full-blown Bufo, puff'd by ev'ry quill;'
Fed with foft. Dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand in hand in fong.
His library (where bufts of poets dead,
And a true Pindar stood without a head)
Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race,
Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place:
Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his seat,
And flatter'd ev'ry day, and fome days eat:
Till grown more frugal in his riper days,
He paid fome bards with port, and fome with praise;
To fome a dry rehearsal was affign'd,

240

And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh, 245
Dryden alone efcap'd this judging eye:

But ftill the Great have kindness in referve,
He help'd to bury whom he help'd to ftarve.
May fome choice patron blefs each gray goofe
quill!

May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo ftill!

NOTES.

250

Ver. 236----a true Findar food without a head] Ridi cules the affectation of antiquaries, who frequently exhibit the headless trunks and terms of ftatues, for Plato, Homer, Pindar, &c. Vide Fulv. Urfin. c.

Ver. 248.------help'd to bury] Mr Dryden, after having lived in exigencies, had a magnificent funeral bestowed upon him by the contribution of feveral perfons of quality.

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 234. in the MS.

To bards reciting he vouchsaf'd a nod,

And inuff'd their incense like a gracious god.

So

So when a statesman wants a day's defence,
Or Envy holds a whole week's war with Senfe,
Or fimple Pride for flatt'ry makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off say hands!
Blefs'd be the Great! for those they take away,
And those they left me; for they left me GAY;
Left me to fee neglected Genius bloom,
Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb:
Of all thy blameless life the fole return
My verfe, and QUEENSB'RY Weeping o'er thy urn!
Oh let me live my own, and die fo too!
(To live and die is all I have to do):'

Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,

257

261

And fee what friends, and read what books I pleafe: Above a patron, though I condefcend

Sometimes to call a minifter my friend.

I was not born for courts or great affairs;

I pay my debts, believe, and fay my pray'rs;
Can fleep without a poem in my head,

Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.

265

270

Why am I afk'd what next shall see the light? Heav'ns! was I born for nothing but to write? Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave) Have I no friend to serve, no foul to fave? "I found him close with Swift-------Indeed? nó

doubt

275

(Cries prating Balbus) "fomething will come out." 'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will,

66

'No, fuch a genius never can lie ftill;”

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 270. in the MS.

Friendships from youth I fought, and feek them ftill:
Fame, like the wind, may breathe where'er it will.

The world I knew, but made it not my school,

And in a course of flattery liv'd no fool.

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And then for mine obligingly mistakes.

285

The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes. 280
Poor guiltless I and can I chufe but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my ftyle?
Curs'd be the verse, how well foe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give Virtue fcandal, Innocence a fear,
Or from the foft-ey'd Virgin steal a tear !
But he who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Infults fall'n worth, or beauty in diftrefs;
Who loves a lie, lame flander helps about,
Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
That fop, whofe pride affects a patron's name,
Yet abfent, wounds an author's honeft fame:
Who can your merit felfifbly approve,
And how the fense of it without the love;
Who has the vanity to call you Friend,
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend ;
Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lie not, muft at least betray;

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 282. in the MS.

P. What if I fing Auguftus great and good?
A. You did fo lately, was it understood?

290

Be nice no more, but, with a mouth profound,
As rumbling D-s or a Norfolk hound;
With GEORGE and FREDRIC roughen ev'ry verse,
Then smooth up all, and GAROLINE rehearse.
P. No.--the high task to lift up kings to gods,
Leave to court-sermons, and to birthday odes.
On themes like thefe, fuperior far to thine,
Let laurel'd Cibber and great Arnal fhine.
Why write at all? A. Yes, filence if you keep,
The town, the court, the wits, the dunces weep.

295

Who

Who to the Dean and filver-bell can fwear,
And fees at Cannons what was never there; 300
Who reads, but with a luft to misapply,
Make fatire a lampoon, and fiction lie:

A lath like mine no honeft man shall dread,
But all fuch babbling blockheads in his ftead,
Let Sporus tremble.--4. What? that thing of filk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

306

P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt, that finks and ftings; 310
Whofe buzz the witty and the fair

annoys,
Yet wit ne'er taftes, and beauty ne'er enjoys:
So well-bred fpaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal fmiles his emptinefs betray,

As fhallow ftreams run dimpling all the way;
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,

315

And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet fqueaks; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,

Half froth, half venom, fpits himself abroad, 329 In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,

Or fpite, or fmut, or rhymes, or blafphemies.

NOTES.

Ver. 299. Who to the Dean and filver hell, &c.] Meaning the man who would have perfuaded the Duke of Chan, dos, that Mr Pope meant him in those circumstances ridiculed in the epiftle on Tafte. See Mr Pope's letter to the Earl of Burlington concerning this matter, vol. 4.

Ver. 319. See Milton, book iv.

Ver. 320. Half froth,] Alluding to those frathy excretions called by the people Toad fpits, feen in summer-time hanging upon plants, and emitted by young infects which lie hid in the midst of them, for their prefervation, while in their help, lefs ftate,

325.

His wit all fee-faw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now mifs,
And he himself one vile antithefis.
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have exprest, 330
A cherub's face, a reptile all the reft.

335

Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the duft.
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool.
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor fervile; be one poet's praise,
That if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways:
That flatt'ry, ev'n to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verfe or prose the same :
That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long, 340
But stoop'd to truth, and moraliz'd his fong:

NOTES.

Ver. 40. That not in Fancy's maze he wander'd long,] His merit in this will appear very great, if we confider, that in this walk he had all the advantages which the most poetic imagination could give to a great genius. M. Voltaire, in a MS. letter, dated Oct. 15 1:26, writes thus from England to a friend in Paris "I intend to fend you two or three poems "of Mr Pope, the best poet or England, and at prefent of al "the world. I hope you are acquainted enough with the English tongue, to be fenfible of all the charms of his "works. For my part, I look upon his poem called the Effay on Criticifm as fuperior to the Art of poetry of Hoand his Rape of the Lock is, in my opinion, abose "the Lutrin of Defpreaux. I never faw fo amiable an ima gination, fo gentle graces, fo great variety, fo much wit, "and fo refined knowledge of the world, as in this little performance."

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