MacFlecknoe: A Poem

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H. Hills, and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 1709 - 16 pages
 

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Page 3 - Through all the realms of Nonsense absolute. This aged prince, now flourishing in peace, And blest with issue of a large increase, Worn out with business, did at length debate To settle the succession of the state; And pond'ring which of all his sons was fit To reign and wage immortal war with wit, Cried : " 'Tis resolved, for Nature pleads that he Should only rule who most resembles me.
Page 4 - To teach the nations in thy greater name. My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung, When to King John of Portugal I sung, Was but the prelude to that glorious day, When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way, With well-tim'd oars before the royal barge. Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge...
Page 6 - Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state. His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace, And lambent dulness play'd around his face.
Page 7 - Where did his wit on learning fix a brand And rail at arts he did not understand? Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain? Where sold he bargains, "whipstitch, kiss my arse", Promised a play and dwindled to a farce?
Page 8 - This is thy province, this thy wondrous way, New humours to invent for each new play: This is that boasted bias of thy mind, By which one way to dulness 'tis inclined: Which makes thy writings lean on one side still, And, in all changes, that way bends thy will. Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense. A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ, But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
Page 6 - Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense. The King himself the sacred unction made, As King by office, and as priest by trade. In his sinister hand, instead of ball, He plac'da mighty mug of potent ale; Love's Kingdom...
Page 6 - Full on the filial dullness: long he stood, Repelling from his breast the raging God, At length burst out in this prophetic mood...
Page 3 - Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through and make a lucid interval ; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
Page 6 - tis sung, by Tiber's brook, Presage of sway from twice six vultures took. The admiring throng loud acclamations make, And omens of his future empire take. The sire then shook the honours of his head, And from his brows damps of oblivion shed, Full on the filial dulness...
Page 14 - The wretch, at summing up his misspent days, Found nothing left, but poverty, and praise? Of all his gains by verse he could not save Enough to purchase flannel, and a grave: Reduc'd to want, he, in due time, fell sick, Was fain to die, and be interr'd on tick; And well might bless the fever that was sent, To rid him hence, and his worse fate prevent.

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