AN EPISTLE NUGATORY,
OR, (AS SOME WRITE IT,)
A Poet, Madam, writes to you,
A Poet! and a poor one, too;
Doom'd, (a bad fate, I ween,) to wail
Poetic ditties in a jail,
Ah! little did he think, of yore,
In Newgate's dens, to vent his lore:
Ah! little, that, (like rooks and crows,)
A grate should stop him by the nose,
That, He with piteous speeches, pat,
Should fish for ha'pence, with a hat,
And, with soul-thrilling yelp, intreat ye,
Date obolum Poetae!
Like poor Darius, fall'n, and spatter'd,
By those, his former Sonnet's flatter'd:
By magic of a fatal NOTE,
Here, he's arrested by the throat,
Not, for a libel, or lampoon,
Squib, dash, or song, made out o'tune,
But, by a Dun, without 'ere budging,
Is lodged here, for a better lodging.
Wou'd! that instead of verse-inditing,
Ink shed, white bullets, and pen-fighting,
He had, forswore the Nine, with curses,
And woo'd Nine Widows, with nine purses.
Nine Widows! who, with glitt'ring pence,
His daily toils, wou'd recompense.--
And, yet, I think, upon my life,
The Jail is better, than the wife,
At least, 'tis better for a Poet,
MILTON, was marry'd, Ma'm, you know it,
He knew it, too, 'faith, to his cost,
For then he sketch'd out Paradise lost,
Which, the Virago, often read,
In curtain lectures, to his bed,
And box'd the blind, old Dotard's head.
She, was the "Nightly Visitant,"
That made his bosom, sigh, and pant!
CERVANTES, scribbled in a prison,
Such tales, as catch one by the weason,
And LOYD, so nervous, gay, and sweet,
Scrawl'd lofty measures in the Fleet,
Now, these are fine Compeers, i'faith,
Yet, as I chuse a nat'ral death,
And, would not, TRENCK--like, furious, run
Thro' Turnkey, and his Myrmidon,
In God's name, send me, if you're willing,
Six golden guineas, one good shilling,
And three pence, which, I fairly owe
For quill-stumps, and pale ink, below;
Then, will I sing, sublime, and gay, a
Dic, Musa! or Aeide Thea!
And once, the Muses, are recruited,
Saddle Pegassus, spur'd and booted,
They, at my heels, the race, will mind, most
Intent, and cry, Deuce take the hindmost.
Set off, like mad, on wings of fame,
And plant on PINDUS' top YOUR NAME.