1 — COME, Thomas, give us t'other sonnet —
2 Dear captain, pray reflect upon it.
3 Was ever so absurd a thing?
4 What, at the pole to bid me sing!
5 Alas! search all the mountains round,
6 There's no Thalia to be found;
7 And Fancy, child of southern skies,
8 Averse the sullen region flies.
9 I scribble verses! why you know
10 I left the Muses long ago,[Page 241]
11 Deserted all the tuneful band
12 To right the files, and study Bland.
13 Indeed in youth's fantastic prime
14 Misled I wander'd into rhime,
15 And various sonnets penn'd in plenty
16 On ev'ry nymph from twelve to twenty;
17 Compar'd to roses, pinks and lillies,
18 The cheeks of Chloe and of Phillis;
19 With all the cant you find in many
20 A stillborn modern miscellany.
21 My lines — how proud was I to see 'em
22 Steal into Dodsley's new Musaeum,
23 Or in a letter fair and clean
24 Committed to the Magazine.
25 Our follies change — that whim is o'er —
26 The bagatelles amuse no more.
27 Know by these presents, that in fine
28 I quit all commerce with the Nine.
29 Love strains, and all poetic matters,
30 Lampoons, epistles, odes, and satires,
31 These toys and trifles I discard,
32 And leave the bays to poet Ward.
33 Know, now to politics consign'd
34 I give up all the busy mind;
35 Curious each pamphlet I peruse,
36 And sip my coffee o'er the news.
37 But a propos — for last Courant,
38 Pray thank the lady governante.
39 From Aix — pho! what is't — la Chapelle,
40 Of treaties now the gazettes tell;[Page 242]
41 A peace unites the jarring powers,
42 And ev'ry trade will thrive, but our's.
43 Farewel, as wrong'd Othello said,
44 The plumed troops, and neighing steed!
45 The troops! alas! more havock there
46 A peace will make, than all the war.
47 What crowds of heroes in a day
48 Reduc'd to starve on half their pay!
49 From Lowendhal 'twou'd pity meet,
50 And Saxe himself might weep to see't.
51 Already Fancy's active pow'r
52 Foreruns the near approaching hour,
53 Methinks, curs'd chance! the fatal stroke
54 I feel, and seem already broke.
55 The park I saunter up and down,
56 Or sit upon a bench alone
57 Pensive and sad — le juste portrait
58 D'un pauvre capitaine reforme.
59 My wig, which shun'd each ruder wind,
60 Toupee'd before, and bag'd behind,
61 Which John was us'd with nicest art
62 To comb, and teach the curls to part,
63 Lost the belle air and jaunty pride,
64 Nor lank depends on either side:
65 My hat grown white and rusted o'er
66 Once bien trousse with galon d'or;
67 My coat distain'd with dust and rain,
68 And all my figure quite campaign.
69 Tavern and coffee-house unwilling
70 To give me credit for a shilling:[Page 243]
71 Forbid by ev'ry scornful belle
72 The precincts of the gay ruelle.
73 My vows tho' breath'd in ev'ry ear,
74 Not e'en a chambermaid will hear:
75 No silver in my purse to pay
76 For opera-tickets, or the play:
77 No message sent to bid me come
78 A fortnight after to a drum:
79 No visits or receiv'd or pay'd,
80 No ball, ridotto, masquerade:
81 All pensive, heartless, and chagrine
82 I sit, devoted prey to spleen;
83 Shabbily fine with tarnish'd lace,
84 And hunger pittur'd in my face.