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Thence rolls the mighty Pow'r his broad survey,
them for the tomb.
ISAAC HAWKINS BROWNE
W ELL, this poetic itch creeps on ; Dodsley adopts you all his own : First Phoebe gave the luckless hint; Now your Epistles flare in print; This week on every stall they lie Display'd; the next, beneath a pye: Instead of purple and the coif, Curll prints your works, and writes your life. If Mævius scribble, 'tis to feed A bard inspir'd by daring need: But, having wherewithal to dine, What vengeance damns thee to the Nine? You write to please-a task indeed !Taste differs, just as men who read : This loves an easy line; and that Deems all that is not glaring, flat. Some, wit and thought can scarce endure; Swift is too vulgar, Pope obscure;
Whim, Weather, Envy, Party, Spite,
For wit (if always in your power)
Or call forth all the powers of fable, Describe a statesman just and able, Who, skill'd in play, disdains to pack; What will you gain ? the butt of sack ? Let Colley sing, in numbers meet, Our leagues and wars, and Spithead fleet: Satire be thine ; a flowery field Yet has a serpent oft conceal'd. A jury finds your words in print, But Curlls interpret what is meant. Grant it were safe, not Oldham's storm Of satire could a soul reform. To curb the time, can poets hope? Peter but sneers, though lash'd by Pope. Would you from dice or pox reclaim, Brand this or that flagitious name: What boots it, sharpers and intriguers ? But ask, were Chartres, Oldfield, beggars ? No, born for modern imitation, Worthies that throve in their vocation. Not e'en thy Horace, happy bard, Was by the barren Muse preferr’d,