[Page 197]

The POET'S PRAYER.

1 IF e'er in thy sight I found favour, Apollo,
2 Defend me from all the disasters which follow:
3 From the knaves and the fools, and the fops of the time,
4 From the drudges in prose, and the triflers in rhyme:
5 From the pacth-work and toils of the royal sack-bibber,
6 Those dead birth-day odes, and the farces of CIBBER:
7 From servile attendance on men in high places,
8 Their worships, and honours, and lordships, and graces;
9 From long dedications to patrons unworthy,
10 Who hear and receive, but will do nothing for thee:
11 From being caress'd to be left in the lurch,
12 The tool of a party, in state or in church:
13 From dull thinking blockheads, as sober as Turks,
14 And petulant bards who repeat their own works:
15 From all the gay things of a drawing-room show,
16 The sight of a Belle, and the smell of a Beau:
17 From busy back-biters, and tatlers, and carpers,
18 And scurvy acquaintance of fidlers and sharpers:
19 From old politicians, and coffee-house lectures,
20 The dreams of a chymist, and schemes of projectors:
21 From the fears of a jail, and the hopes of a pension,
22 The tricks of a gamester, and oaths of an ensign:
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23 From shallow free-thinkers in taverns disputing,
24 Nor ever confuted, nor ever confuting:
25 From the constant good fare of another man's board,
26 My lady's broad hints, and the jests of my lord:
27 From hearing old chymists prelecting de olco,
28 And reading of Dutch commentators in folio:
29 From waiting, like GAY, whole years at White-hall;
30 From the pride of gay wits, and the envy of small:
31 From very fine ladies with very fine incomes,
32 Which they finely lay out on fine toys and fine trincums:
33 From the pranks of ridottoes and court-masquerades,
34 The snares of young jilts, and the spite of old maids:
35 From a saucy dull stage, and submitting to share
36 In an empty third night with a beggarly play'r:
37 From CURL and such Printers as would ha' me curs'd
38 To write second parts, let who will write the first:
39 From all pious patriots, who would to their best,
40 Put on a new tax, and take off an old test:
41 From the faith of informers, the fangs of the law,
42 And the great rogues, who keep all the lesser in awe:
43 From a poor country cure, that living interment,
44 With a wife and no prospect of any preferment:
45 From scribbling for hire, when my credit is sunk,
46 To buy a new coat, and to line an old trunk:
47 From 'squires, who divert us with jokes at their tables,
48 Of hounds in their kennels, and nags in their stables:
49 From the nobles and commons, who bound in strict league are
50 To subscribe for no book, yet subscribe to Heidegger:
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51 From the cant of fanaticks, the jargon of schools,
52 The censures of wisemen, and praises of fools:
53 From criticks who never read Latin or Greek,
54 And pedants, who boast they read both all the week:
55 From borrowing wit, to repay it like BUDGEL,
56 Or lending, like POPE, to be paid by a cudgel:
57 If ever thou didst, or wilt ever befriend me,
58 From these, and such evils, APOLLO, defend me,
59 And let me be rather but honest with no-wit,
60 Than a noisy nonsensical half-witted poet.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): The POET'S PRAYER.
    Themes: poetry; literature; writing; printing; publishing; dunces
    Genres: prayer; satire
    References: DMI 22361

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. III. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 197-199. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.003)

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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.