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Who tells whate'er you think, whate'er you say,
Let Sporus tremble---A. What? that thing of silk,
P. Yet let ine flap this bug with gilded wings, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stings; Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys : So well-bred spaniels civilly delight In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. Whether in florid impotence he speaks, And as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks ; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, ID puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies : His wit all see-saw, between that and this, Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, And he himself one vile antithesis. Amphibious thing ! that, acting either part, The trilling head, or the corrupted heart; Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have exprest, A cherub's face, and reptile all the rest; Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool, Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile; he one poet's praise,
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great?
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
To please a mistress one aspers'd his life;
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
P. Their own, And better got than Bestia's from the throne. Born to no pride, inheriting no strife, Nor marrying discord in a voble wife, Strauger to civil and religious rage, The good man walk'd ivnoxious through his age : No courts he saw, no suits would ever try, Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie. Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art, No language but the language of the heart. By nature honest, by experience wise; Healthy by temperance and by exercise ; His life, though long, to sickness past unknown, His death was instant, and without a groan. O grant me thus to live, and thus to die! Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend ! may each domestic bliss be thine ! Be no unpleasing melancholy mine: Me, let the tender office long engage, To rock the cradle of reposing age, With lenient arts extend a mother's breath, Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death; Explore the thought, explain the asking eye, And keep a while one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
A. Whether that blessing be deny'd or given, Thus far was right; the rest belongs to Heaven,
SATIRES AND EPISTLES
The occasion of publishing these imitations was the clamour raised on some of my Epistles. An an. swer from Horace was both more full, and of more dignity, than any I could have made in my own person; and the example of much greater freedom in so eminent a divine as Dr. Donne, seemed a proof with what indignation and contempt a Christian may treat vice or folly, in ever so low or ever so high a station. Both these authors were acceptable to the princes and ministers under whom they lived. The satires of Dr. Donne I versified at the desire of the earl of Oxford while he was lord treasurer, and of the duke of Shrewsbury, who had been secretary of state ; neither of whom looked upon a satiré on vicious courts as any re. flection on those they served in. And, indeed, there is not in the world a greater error, than that which fools are so apt to fall into, and knaves with good reason to encourage the mistaking a satirist for a libeller; whereas to a true satirist nothing is so odious as a libeller, for the same reason as to a man truly virtuous nothing is so hateful as a hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus ainicis.