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THE PROGRESS OF POETRY.
THE farmer's goofe, who in the stubble
Has fed without restraint or trouble,
Grown fat with corn, and fitting still,
Can scarce get o'er the barn-door fill;
And hardly waddles forth to cool
Her belly in the neighbouring pool;
Nor loudly cackles at the door;
For cackling fhews the goofe is poor.
But, when she must be turn'd to graze,
And round the barren common ftrays,
Hard exercife and harder fare
Soon make my dame grow
Her body light, fhe tries her wings,
And fcorns the ground, and upward fprings;
While all the parish, as she flies,
Hear founds harmonious from the skies.
Such is the poet fresh in pay
(The third night's profits of his play) ;
His morning-draughts till noon can swill
Among his brethren of the quill:
With good roaft beef his belly full,
Grown lazy, foggy, fat, and dull,
Deep funk in plenty and delight,
What poet e'er could take his flight?
Or, stuff'd with phlegm up to the throat,
What poet e'er could fing a note ?
Nor Pegasus could bear the load
Along the high celestial road;
The ftced, opprefs'd, would break his girth,
To raise the lumber from the earth.
But view him in another fcene,
When all his drink is Hippocrene,
His money fpent, his patrons fail,
His credit out for cheese and ale;
His two-years coat fo fmooth and bare,
Through every thread it lets in air;
With hungry meals his body pin'd,
His guts and belly full of wind;
And, like a jockey for a race,
His fleth brought down to flying cafe:
Now his exalted fpirit loaths
Incumbrances of food and cloaths;
And up he rifes, like a vapour,
Supported high on wings of paper;
He finging flies, and flying fings,
While from below all Grubftreet rings.
THE SOUTH SEA PROJECT. 1721.
"Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto,
"Arma virum, tabulæque, et Troïa gaza per undas."
E wife philofophers, explain
What magick makes our money rife,
When dropt into the Southern main;
Or do thefe jugglers cheat our eyes?
Put in your money fairly told;
Thus in a bafon drop a fhilling,
Then fill the veffel to the brim;
You fhall obferve, as you are filling,
The ponderous metal feems to fwim :
It rifes both in bulk and height,
Behold it fwelling like a fop;
The liquid medium cheats your fight;
Behold it mounted to the top!
In stock three hundred thoufand pounds;
I have in view a lord's eftate;
My manors all contiguous round;
A coach and fix, and ferv'd in plate !
Thus, the deluded bankrupt raves;
Puts all upon a defperate bet;
Then plunges in the Southern waves,
Dipt over head and ears in debt.
So, by a calenture misled,
The mariner with rapture fees,
On the fmooth ocean's azure bed,
Enamel'd fields and verdant trees :
With eager hafte he longs to rove
In that fantastic fcene, and thinks
It must be fome enchanted grove;
And in he leaps, and down he finks.
Five hundred chariots, juft bespoke,
Are funk in thefe devouring waves,
The horfes drown'd, the harnefs broke,
And here the owners find their graves.
Like Pharaoh, by directors led ;
They with their poils went fafe before;
His chariots, tumbling out the dead,
Lay shatter'd on the Red-Sea fhore.
Rais'd up on Hope's afpiring plumes,
The young adventurer o'er the deep
An eagle's flight and state affumes,
And fcorns the middle-way to keep.
On paper wings he takes his flight,
With wax the father bound them fast;
The wax is melted by the height,
And down the towering boy is cast.
A moralift might here explain
The rafhnefs of the Cretan youth; Defcribe his fall into the main,
And from a fable form a truth.
His wings are his paternal rent,
He melts the wax at every flame;
His credit funk, his money spent,
In Southern Seas he leaves his name.
Inform us, you that beft can tell,
Why in yon' dangerous gulph profound,
Where hundreds and where thousands fell,
Fools chiefly float, the wife are drown'd?
So have I feen from Severn's brink
A flock of geeft jump down together: Swim, where the bird of Jove would fink, And, fwimming, never wet a feather.
But, I affirm, 'tis falfe in fact,
Directors better knew their tools; We fee the nation's credit crackt,
Each knave hath made a thoufand fools.
One fool may from another win,
And then get off with money stor'd ; But, if a sharper once comes in,
He throws at all, and fweeps the board.
As fishes on each other prey,
The great ones fwallowing up the fmall;
So fares it in the Southern Sea;
The whale directors eat up all.
When frock is high, they come between,
Making by fecond-hand their offers ;
Then cunningly retire unseen,
With each a million in his coffers.
So, when upon a moon-fhine night
An afs was drinking at a stream;
A cloud arose, and ftopt the light,
By intercepting every beam:
The day of judgement will be foon
(Cries out a fage among the croud); An afs hath swallow'd up the moon! (The moon lay fafe behind the cloud).
Each poor fubfcriber to the fea
Sinks down at once, and there he lies; Directors fall as well as they,
Their fall is but a trick to rife.