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Satyr against the Muses.

1 By my abandon'd Muse, I'm not inspir'd,
2 Provok'd by Malice, and with Rage I'm fir'd.
3 Fly, fly, my Muse from my distracted Breast,
4 Who e'er has thee, must be with Plagues possest:
5 Fool that I was, e'er to sollicite you,
6 Who make not only Poor, but wretched too.
7 Happy I liv'd, for almost Eight years time,
8 Curss'd be your Skill, you taught me then to Rhime:
9 The Jingling noise, shed its dark Influence,
10 On my then pleased, unwary Innocence,
11 I scarce have had one happy Moment since.
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12 Here all the Spite and Rage of Womankind,
13 Cannot enough advance my threatning Mind,
14 Let Furies too, be in the Consort join'd.
15 Passion, that common Rage, I here refuse,
16 Call Hell itself, to curse my Torturing Muse;
17 Not the calm Author of blest Poetry,
18 But the black Succubus of Misery:
19 There let her sit, with her Infernal Chyme,
20 And put the Shrieks and Groans of Fiends in Rhime.
21 May their Parnassus, like Vesuvius burn,
22 Their Laurels wither, or to Cypriss turn;
23 May Stuff like Hopkin's Rhyme, degrade their Fame,
24 And none but Ballad-makers use their Name:
25 May they despis'd, sad and neglected sit,
26 Be never thought upon by Men of Wit.
27 May all the Ills a fond Imperious Dame,
28 Wishes the Man that dare reject her Flame,
29 Light upon him, that does commit the Crime,
30 Of writing any thing, in jingling Rhime;
31 Nothing like that, to Dangers can expose,
32 May none be Happy, but what write in Prose.
33 Curse on the Whimsical, Romanick Fool,
34 That yielded first, to his Phantastick Rule;
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35 That Wit like Morris-dancers must-advance,
36 With Bells at Feet, and in nice measures Dance.
37 Let pregnant Heads, but think of Poetry,
38 And just before the Brain-delivery;
39 Fancy shall make a Prodigy of Wit,
40 Which soon, as born, shall run upon its Feet:
41 Sure, 'tis some Necromantick Ordinance,
42 That Sence, beyond the Circle mayn't advance;
43 Was all the learned Ancients Courage dead,
44 That Wit, in Fetters, is tame Captive led?
45 Had Some oppos'd, when Rhyme at first grew bold,
46 Then her Defeat, not Triumphs had been told?
47 But now the Plague is grown so populous,
48 'Tis hard to stop the universal Curse.
49 Doubtless, they are mistaken who have told
50 Spightful Pandora's pregnant Box did hold
51 Plurality of Plagues, She only hurl'd
52 Out Verse alone, and that has damn'd the World.
53 Curses, in vain, on Poets I bestow;
54 I'm sure, the greatest is, that they are so;
55 Fate, send worse if thou can'st, but Rescue me
56 From trifling torturing wretched Poetry.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Satyr against the Muses.
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions, Together with a Pastoral. By Mrs. S. F. London: printed, and are to be sold by J. Nutt, near Stationers-Hall, 1703, pp. 14-16. [20],117,[3],15,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T125148)

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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 Sarah Fyge Egerton