The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 18/Verses on Two Celebrated Modern Poets

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BEHOLD, those monarch oaks, that rise,
With lofty branches to the skies,
Have large proportioned roots that grow
With equal longitude below:
Two bards, that now in fashion reign,
Most aptly this device explain:
If this to clouds and stars will venture,
That creeps as far to reach the centre;
Or, more to show the thing I mean,
Have you not o'er a sawpit seen,
A skill'd mechanick, that has stood
High on a length of prostrate wood,
Who hired a subterraneous friend,
To take his iron by the end;
But which excell'd was never found,
The man above, or under ground.
The moral is so plain to hit,
That, had I been the god of wit,
Then, in a sawpit and wet weather,
Should Young and Philips drudge together[1].

  1. This is to be understood as a censure only of the poetical character of those gentlemen. As men, the dean esteemed them both; and on Philips in particular conferred many signal acts of friendship.