A Panegyrical Epistle to Mr. Thomas Snow
Disdain not, Snow , my humble Verse to hear:
Stick thy black Pen awhile behind thy Ear.
Whether thy Compter shine with Sums untold,
And thy wide-grasping Hand grow black with Gold:
Whether thy Mien erect, and sable Locks,
In Crowds of Brokers over-awe the Stocks :
Suspend the worldly Business of the Day;
And to enrich thy Mind, attend my Lay.
O thou, whose penetrative Wisdom found
The South-Sea Rocks and Shelves where Thousands drown'd.
When Credit sunk, and Commerce gasping lay,
Thou stood'st: No Bill was sent unpaid away.
When not a Guinea chink'd on Martin 's Boards,
And Atwill 's self was drain'd of all his Hoards,
Thou stood'st; (an Indian King in Size and Hue)
Thy unexhausted Shop was our Peru .
Why did ' Change-Alley waste thy precious Hours,
Among the Fools who gap'd for golden Show'rs?
No wonder, if we found some Poets there,
Who live on Fancy, and can feed on Air;
No wonder, they were caught by South-Sea Schemes,
Who ne'er enjoy'd a Guinea, but in Dreams;
No wonder, they their Third Subscriptions sold,
For Millions of imaginary Gold:
No wonder, that their Fancies wild can frame
Strange Reasons, that a Thing is still the same,
Though chang'd throughout in Substance and in Name.
But you (whose Judgment scorns Poetick Flights)
With Contracts furnish Boys for Paper Kites.
Let Vulture H — — ns stretch his rusty Throat,
Who ruins Thousands for a single Groat.
I know thou scorn'st his mean, his sordid Mind:
Nor, with Ideal Debts, would'st plague Mankind.
Madmen alone their empty Dreams pursue,
And still believe the fleeting Vision true;
They sell the Treasures which their Slumbers get,
Then wake, and fancy all the World in Debt.
If to instruct thee all my Reasons fail,
Yet be diverted by this Moral Tale.
Through fam'd Moor-Fields extends a spacious Seat,
Where Mortals of exalted Wit retreat;
Where wrapp'd in Contemplation and in Straw,
The wiser Few from the mad World withdraw.
There in full Opulence a Banker dwelt,
Who all the Joys and Pangs of Riches felt:
His Side-board glitter'd with imagin'd Plate;
And his proud Fancy held a vast Estate.
As, on a Time, he pass'd the vacant Hours
In raising Piles of Straw and twisted Bowers;
A Poet enter'd of the neighb'ring Cell,
And with fix'd Eye observ'd the Structure well.
A sharpen'd Skew'r cross his bare Shoulders bound
A tatter'd Rug, which dragg'd upon the Ground.
The banker cry'd, " Behold my Castle Walls,
" My Statues, Gardens, Fountains, and Canals;
" With Land of twenty thousand Acres round!
" All these I sell thee for ten thousand Pound.
The Bard with Wonder the cheap Purchase saw,
So sign'd the Contract (as ordains the Law.)
The Banker's Brain was cool'd, the Mist grew clear;
The Visionary Scene was lost in Air.
He now the vanish'd Prospect understood,
And fear'd the fancy'd Bargain was not good:
Yet loth the Sum entire should be destroy'd;
" Give me a Penny and thy Contract's void.
The startled Bard with Eye indignant frown'd.
" Shall I, ye Gods (he cries) my Debts compound!
So saying, from his Rug the Skew'r he takes,
And on the Stick Ten equal Notches makes:
With just Resentment flings it on the Ground;
" There, take my Tally of Ten Thousand Pound.
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