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The Proclamation of APOLLO.

1 MAY Artemisia hear my Strain,
2 I quote the Sages once again:
3 And shou'd you ask the Reason why,
4 "Old Authors fib, and so may I."
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5 Proceed we then Old Authors say,
6 Apollo once made Holiday,
7 And call'd the Brethren of the Quill,
8 To feast upon his tuneful Hill,
9 From ev'ry Nook and ev'ry Wind:
10 They came, for who wou'd stay behind?
11 Great was the Crowd, as may be guess'd:
12 Side grew to Side, and Back to Breast,
13 Till the Imperial Prince of Song,
14 Who fearing something might be wrong,
15 Sent forth a Troop with Caps and Spears,
16 Much like Parnassian Granadiers,
17 With surly Eyes and sour Faces,
18 To part the Crowd and give 'em Places.
19 Now I have quite forgot, I fear,
20 What Names the People gave 'em there
21 Amongst the Muses But I trow
22 Men call 'em Criticks here below.
23 Now when at last these sage Reformers,
24 Had drove the Crew to Heaps and Corners,
25 They call'd them out by two and three,
26 And set 'em in a due Degree,
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27 That each his proper Place shou'd know,
28 On Laurel Benches all a-row.
29 Now you may think they all were happy,
30 As Drunkard o'er his Jug of Nappy,
31 That ev'ry Brow was smooth and clear,
32 But first I beg you'd lend an Ear:
33 The Queen of Love to grace the Feast,
34 Had sent a thousand Pipes at least
35 Of smiling Nectar neat and fine,
36 To whet the Guests before they dine:
37 But when the Cups had walk'd about,
38 Some surly Bards began to pout,
39 And wrinkle up their tiny Faces,
40 And fret and fume about their Places:
41 Their giddy Brains began to glow,
42 Each thinking he was plac'd too low:
43 This vow'd to make all Creatures fear him,
44 And That cou'd bear no Creature near him.
45 One seem'd to talk with mighty Spirit,
46 Of baffl'd Worth and slighted Merit:
47 Another was in Passion hurl'd,
48 And curs'd the stupid senseless World,
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49 Till Choler swell'd in ev'ry Vein,
50 And each no longer cou'd contain,
51 But fairly went, as I'm a Sinner,
52 To Loggerheads before their Dinner.
53 Apollo was offended quite,
54 And all the Muses in a Fright:
55 Then thunder'd out a Proclamation.
56 "O Ye And all the rhiming Nation,
57 "Our King commands you to be still,
58 "And not disturb the sacred Hill.
59 "If some refusing to be quiet,
60 "Shall dare to aid this lawless Riot:
61 "The Statutes of Parnassian tender
62 "The Stocks to ev'ry such Offender.
63 "At this the Riot seem'd to cease,
64 "And with a murmur sunk in Peace:
65 "When all was silent to a Man,
66 "Again the Herald thus began.
67 "Directed by your Prince I bring
68 "This Message from the laurel'd King,
69 "Who long has view'd with silent Woe
70 "Your Quarrels in the World below,
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71 "How moral and satirick Wits
72 "And jingling Pedants Rhiming Cits,
73 "The gay, the empty, and the full,
74 "The soft, the froward, and the dull,
75 "Wage endless Wars with one another,
76 "And ev'ry Blockhead hates his Brother.
77 "But while you take a world of pains
78 "In pelting at each other's Brains;
79 "While Envy swells the little Mind,
80 "You ne'er consider that you find
81 "(To see you in the Tempest hurl'd)
82 "Diversion for the laughing World;
83 "And so you break all moral Rules
84 "To grow the Mocking-stock of Fools:
85 "But now Apollo begs you will
86 "Suspend your Quarrels, and be still.
87 "Let Wits shake Hands with one another,
88 "And ev'ry Dunce embrace his Brother,
89 "From batter'd Bards with ne'er a Shoe
90 "To those who strut about with two;
91 "From Poets doom'd to whittle Sticks,
92 "To Rhimers in a Coach and Six.
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93 "Let none presume to fret and squabble,
94 "Nor curse the dirty rhiming Rabble:
95 "For see the Beams of Phoebus strike
96 "The Meadows, Hills, and Dales alike:
97 "So shines the Muse on ev'ry Creature,
98 "Who tags his humble Lines with Metre.
99 He said The Children of the Bays
100 Sent up a Shout of mingled Praise,
101 Devoutly promising to pay
102 Obedience to the Prince of Day;
103 And now they see the Tables spread
104 With Dainties and Parnassian Bread,
105 Whose tiny Loaves were nicely white,
106 And no French Rolls were half so light:
107 The first bold Course was brought along
108 In Dishes made of Homer's Song.
109 Next Virgil on the Table shines,
110 And then smooth Ovid's tender Lines.
111 The gay Desert expos'd to view,
112 Of modern Authors not a few,
113 Heroicks in the midst preside,
114 With Elegy on either Side:
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115 Here through transparent Sonnets gleam
116 Whip-Syllabubs and spiced Cream:
117 There loaded Epigrams appear,
118 And little Mottos close the Rear.
119 Now Dinner past their jolly Souls,
120 Cut Capers to the Nectar Bowls,
121 Till ev'ry Bard had drank his fill,
122 And then they left the tuneful Hill.
123 But ere they part, the laurel'd King,
124 Extracted from a wond'rous Spring
125 A magick Bath of mighty Pow'r,
126 Whose Virtues could in half an Hour
127 Make Proof against sharp Satyr's Pain,
128 The Fibres of a Dunce's Brain;
129 And give him Confidence to push
130 Through the broad World without a Blush.
131 Apollo next upon the Crew,
132 Bestow'd a Grey-goose Quill or two,
133 With Ink that into Metre runs,
134 And charms against the Fear of Duns.
135 This done dismiss'd 'em, as before,
136 With Sirs, your Servant, and no more.


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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): The Proclamation of APOLLO.
    Author: Mary Leapor
    Themes: poetry; literature; writing
    Genres: comic verse

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    Source edition

    Poems upon several occasions: By Mrs. Leapor of Brackley in Northamptonshire. London: printed: and sold by J. Roberts, 1748, pp. 41-47. 15,[5],282p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T127827; Foxon p. 413; OTA K101776.000) (Page images digitized by Google Books — third-party rights apply.)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

    Other works by Mary Leapor