To the same (Mr. L-----) I

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Dear Sir, when late in town you chose
To correspond no more in prose,
My viscious muse---(but 'tis in vain
Of her abuses to complain)---
Neglects to aid, as I expected,
And so I must be self-directed.

You've broke th' agreement, Sir, I find;
(Excuse me, I must speak my mind)
It seems, in your poetic fit,
You mind not jingling, when there's wit;
And so to write like Donne you chose,
Whose prose was verse, and verse was prose:
From common tracts of rhyming stray,
And versify another way.
Indeed it suits, I must aver,
A genius to be singular.

On F---r kept in durance vile,
Did once more erring fortune smile:
Again he would extend his ray,
And shine his riches all away.
Birch said, (and what he said I sing)
'A shilling is a serious thing;'
But like Icarus, F---r springs,
Where suns dissolv'd his waxen wings:
No more the wings his weight sustain,
He plunges headlong in the main:
The shades of death steal o'er his eyes;
And to black Styx the spirit flies.

Life is a grand vicissitude
Of pain and health, of ill and good:
Your goose now mourns a murder'd mate,
(Attend while I the fact relate)
He chanc'd upon a cloudless morn,
To wander in our neighbour's corn;
Perhaps he thought all lands were free,
And none had private property;

Or sure he ne'er had trod the plain,
And pick'd, like Eve, forbidden grain:
Careless he fed, in graceful ease
And sweet simplicity of geese.
Ill-fated bird! he there was kill'd
By man, the tyrant of the field.

His widow's wing, Oh dire relation!
Next underwent sad amputation:
Weep not, dear Sir, at this abuse;
She bears it like a patient goose:
I fear the widow is a prude,
Or matters sooner would conclude;
Or else you have a coward heart,
And fear to act the suitor's part.
Of all the things beneath the sun, you know,
Faint heart fair lady never won. Adieu.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.