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To me with readiness he did repair ;
Express’d much tender chearfulness, to find
Experience had restor’d him to my mind;

And loyally did to me show,

How much himself he did abuse, Who credited a flattering, false, destructive, treacherous

Muse.
I ask'd the causes why. He said,

'Twas never known a Muse e'er staid
When Fortune fied; for Fortune is a bawd
To all the Nine that on Parnassus dwell,
Where those so fam'd delightful fountains fwell
Of poetry, which there does ever flow;

And where wit’s lusty, shining god

Keeps his choice feraglio. So whilft our fortune smiles, our thoughts aspire, Pleasure and fame's our business, and desire,

Then, too, if we find

A promptnefs in the mind, The Muse is always ready, always kind.

But if th’old harlot, Fortune, once denies Her favour, all our pleasure and rich fancy dies, And then th’ young, slippery jilt, the Muse, too from

us flies.

VIII.
To the whole tale I gave attention due ;
And as right search into myself I made,

I found all he had faid
Was very honest, very true.

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O how O how I hugg'd my welcome friend ! And much my Muse I could not discommend !

For I ne'er liv'd in Fortune's grace, She always turn’d her back, and fed from me apace, And never once vouchsaf'd to let me see her face.

Then, to confirm me more,
He drew the veil of dotage from my eyes :

See here, my son, (said he) the valued prize;
Thy fulsome Muse behold, be happy, and be wise.
I lookid, and law the rampant, tawdry quean,

With a more horrid train
Than ever yet to satire lent a tale,

Or haunted Chloris in the mall.
The first was he who ftunk of that rank verfe

In which he wrote his Sodom Farce ; A wretch whom old diseases did so bite,

That he writ bawdry sure in spite,

To ruin and disgrace it quite.
Philosophers of old did so express
Their art, and shew'd it in their nastiness.

Next him appear’d that blundering sot,
Who a late Session of the Poets wrote.
Nature has mark'd him for a heavy fool ;

By's fat broad face you'll know the owl.
The other birds have hooted him from light;
Much buffeting has made him love the night,

And only in the dark he strays ; Still wretch enough to live, with worse fools fpends

his days, And for old shoes and scraps repeats dull plays.

Then

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Then next there follow'd, to make up

the throng, Lord Lampoon and Monsieur Song, Who fought her love, and promis’d for’t To make her famous at the court.

The City Poet too was there, In a black satin

cap

and his own hair,
And begg'd that he might have the honour

To beget a pageant on her
For the city's next lord-mayor.
Her favours she to none deny'd :

They took her all by turns aside.
Till at the last up in the rear there came

The Poets' scandal, and the Muses' shame,
A beast of monstrous guise, and Libel was his name:

But let me pause, for 'twill ask time to tell How he was born, how bred and ere, and where he now does dwell.

IX.
He paus’d, and thus renew'd his tale.

Down in an obscure vale, 'Midst fogs and fens, whence mists and vapours rise,

Where never sun was seen by eyes,

Under a desert wood,
Which no man own’d, but all wild beasts were bred,
And kept their horrid dens, by prey far forag'd fed,

An ill-pil'd cottage stood,
Built of men's bones Naughter'd in civil war,
By magic art brought thither from afar,

There liv'd a widow'd witch,
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That

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That us'd to mumble curfes eve and morn,

Like one whom wants and care had worn;

Meagre her looks, and funk her eyes,
Yet mischiefs ftudy'd, discords did devise.
Sh’appeared humble, but it was her pride :
Slow in her speech, in femblance sanctify'd.
Still when she spoke she meant another way ;

And when she curs’d, she seem'd to pray. Her hellish charms had all a holy dress,

And bore the name of godliness,
All her familiars seem'd the fons of Peace.

Honest habits they all wore,
In outward show moft lamb-like and divine :
But inward of all vices they had store,

Greedy as wolves, and sensual too as swine.
Like her, the facred scriptures they had all by heart,
Most easily could quote, and turn to any part,
Backward repeat it all, as witches their prayers do,

And, for their turn, interpret backward too.

Idolatry with her was held impure, Because, besides herself, no idol she 'd endure. Though not to paint, she'd arts to change the face,

And alter it in heavenly fashion.
Lewd whining she defin'd a mark of grace,
And making ugly faces was mortification.

Her late dead pander was of well-known fame,
Old Presbyter Rebellion was his name :

She a sworn foe to king, his peace, and laws, So will be ever, and was callid (bless us !) the good old caufe.

X.
A time there was (a fad one too)

When all things wore the face of woe,
When many horrors rag'd in this our land,
And a destroying angel was sent down,

To scourge the pride of this rebellious town. He came, and o’er all Britain stretch'd his conquering

hand : Till in th' untrodden streets unwholsome grass

Grew of great stalk, its colour gross,

And melancholic poisonous green ; Like those coarse fickly weeds on an old dunghill seen,

Where some murrain-murther d hog,

Poison’d cat, or strangled dog,
In rottenness had long unbury'd laid,

And the cold foil productive made.
Birds of ill omen hover'd in the air,
And by their cries bade us for graves prepare ;
And, as our destiny they seem’d t' unfold,
Dropt dead of the fame fate they had forctold.
That dire commission ended, down there came
Another angel with a sword of flame :

Desolation foon he made,
And our new Sodom low in afhes laid.
Distractions and distrusts then did amongst us rise,

When, in her pious old disguise,
This witch with all her mischief-making train

Began to thew herself again.
The Cons of Old Rebellion straight she summond all;

Straight they were ready at her call :
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