To Mr. Bleecker
Yes, I invok'd the Muses' aid
To help me write, for 'tis their trade;
But only think, ungrateful Muses,
They sent dame Iris with excuses,
They'd other business for to follow,
Beg'd I'd apply to God Apollo.
The God said, as heav'n's charioteer,
He had no time to mind us here;
Said if we rac'd round earth like Phoebus
One day, it sadly would fatigue us;
Yet we expect, when tir'd at night,
He'd stay from bed to help us write:
Nor need we ask his sister Phoebe,
For turning round had made her giddy;
Her inspiration would confuse us,
So counsell'd us to coax the Muses.
Quite disappointed at this lecture
I left his worship sipping nectar;
But, pettishly as I left his dome,
It chanc'd I met the Goddess Wisdom.
No wonder she is wife, 'tis said
She was the product of Jove's head.
'Bright Queen,' said I, 'in these abodes
'I beg'd a favour of the Gods:
'They wish'd the poets at the devil,
'And the nine ladies were uncivil:
'Apollo told me he was lazy,
'And call'd his sister Phoebe crazy.
'Permit me then your kind protection;
'From you I cannot fear rejection.'
Tritonia gave me smiles and nods,
(The unsual compliments of Gods,)
And look'd benign as rising sun,
Which gave me courage to go on.
'---Oh Goddess! let your powerful arms
'Keep young Ulyssus from all harms;
'Attend him in each strange adventure,
'And be, in human form, his mentor:
'Oh bid him shun Circean feasts,
'Whose magic pow'r turns men to beasts;
'Nor let him touch the fatal tree,
'Lest he forget Penelope:
'Keep him from a Calypso's arms,
'And all the treacherous Syren's charms:
'In Cyclop cells let him not enter;
'Permit him not at games to venture;
'Sure as he does, he is undone,
'Each sharper is a lestrigon;
'Nor city luxury inure him,
'To be a modern epicurian;
'(For Temperance, celestial maid,
'Is still a virtue of the shade:)
'And dire diseases burn each vein
'Of those who Temperance prophane,
'And kill her sacred beeves in vain.
'The Grecians once to Pluto's glooms
'So sunk for slaughter'd hecatombs.
'If men believ'd in transmigration,
'How would it spare the brute creation?
'But, Goddess! let him soon return,
'Nor twice ten years in absence mourn;
'To those who love, a month appears
'As long as twenty tedious years.'
Minerva rais'd her ægis high,
That blaz'd effulgence thro' the sky,
And, smiling took the common oath,
To be immensely kind to both;
Then down from heaven's pure æther flew
Swifter than light---in search of you.