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