If Dennis writes and rails in furious pet
I'll answer Dennis when I am in debt.
If meagre Gildon draw his meaner quill,
I wish the man a dinner and sit still
But should there One whose better stars conspire
To form a bard, and raise a genius higher,
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to live, converse, and write with ease;
Should such a one, resolved to reign alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne.
View him with jealous yet with scornful eyes,
Hate him for arts that caused himself to rise,
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering teach the rest to sneer.
Alike reserved to blame or to commend,
A timorous foe and a suspicious friend,
Fearing e'en fools, by flatterers besieged,
And so obliging that he ne'er obliged;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hit the fault, and hesitate dislike,
Who when two wits on rival themes contest,
Approves of both, but likes the worst the best:(1)
Like Cato, give his little senate laws
And sits attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars every sentence praise
And wonder with a foolish face of praise:
Who would not laugh if such a man there be?
Who would not weep if Addison were he?
|« NEXT »||« Works »||« Biographies »||« Library »||« Our Decline »|