VERSES to a Writer of RIDDLES.
1 AH! boast not those obscuring lays,
2 Nor think it sure and certain
3 That every one can draw a face,
4 Who can produce a curtain.
5 POPE does the flourish'd truth no hurt,
6 While graceful flowers disguise it;
7 Thou daub'st it so with mud and dirt,
8 That not a soul espies it.
9 His fancy decks, thy fancy shrowds;
10 What likeness is between 'em?
11 'Twixt one who soars above the clouds,
12 And one entangled in 'em?
13 But let my candour not upbraid
14 Thy strains, which flow so purely;
15 It is thy secret, 'tis thy trade,
16 Thy craft — to write obscurely.
17 Obscurity in thee to blame
18 I've not the least pretence;
19 'Tis that alone can guard thy fame,
20 The style that suits thy sense.
21 When Nature forms an horrid mien
22 Less fit for vulgar sight;
23 The creature, fearful to be seen,
24 Spontaneous shuns the light.
25 The bat uncouth thro' instinct fears
26 The prying eyes of day;
27 Yet when the sun no more appears,
28 Securely wings away.
29 'Tis instinct bids the frightful owl
30 To devious glooms repair;
31 And points out Riddles to a fool,
32 To wrap his genius there.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): VERSES to a Writer of RIDDLES.
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
References: DMI 27249
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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.