" Oh, three pence! — charm of Gods and Men,
Wreath of a gifted Writer's pen!
Whose Verse and Prose are gems to me ,
But modest is the Postman's fee!
When shall I call your treasures forth,
And pay your copper — for its worth?
Of all the pence , which delving toil
Earns in the cold Reviewing soil,
Those which for Genius I reserve
My heart and preference deserve.
I pay the tax with pride of haste,
It is — the pepper-corn of — Taste :
I love the Postman's dunning smiles,
That claim for the suburban miles;
Light as the gaol-deliver'd cork,
I only wish he came — from York .
And came, unfrank'd — a double-sheet,
The deodand of my retreat.
Shall I, for such a cost, be thinner?
Wit — is a patent for a dinner.
I pay for him who pays to none ,
And calls it wealth to be undone;
But, partners in his own Gazette ,
Scorns the lov'd Poplars to forget.
Let silver bleed! " I love the cost ,"
Arithmetick's dull book is lost;
The Postage is an Arthur's cup,
It fills — when Post-men drink it up.
Taste is of drams alone the jar,
That leaves no drop to vinegar.
When, ci-devant of G — — y House ,
The wife — as timid as a mouse,
With mincing words gives Love a nudge —
" My dear, a Letter from the Judge;"
I chuckle at the feast in store,
And feel the lurking bile no more;
The Bosom's Lord " upon his throne,"
Makes a new bed of down his own;
The Milbourne Swan that nothing pays ,
No prouder neck than mine can raise.
My Wife, a calculating rib,
Dress'd in her pin-a-fore and bib;
Though few can match her as a wit,
Shakes off the peril of the fit;
And, having beat the Poet's march,
Keeps down the sand, or saves in starch;
And learns, from dashes of her friend,
My shirts to darn, or stockings mend;
Or me — her Adam — (both undress'd)
In a House-bill she lulls to rest —
Ye Harriets , come! — ye Indian porters ,
Talus and Una , my Reporters;
Tell, if you ever heard an oath
Disturb the debt of nuptial troth ;
Or saw your gentle Master warm,
And frown at the impending storm,
That shakes the curtain-lecture's room,
And rides the air on ******' s broom;
When Cambria's Judge, broke-down himself,
Lays me and mine upon the shelf;
And pelts his beadsmen every day,
With a new tax for them to pay;
But never seems at all unwilling
To save his own protected shilling.
Say, this Blue-beard's domestic Barber,
When you have shav'd me in the arbour,
Ill-omen'd three upon the cover,
A shaking head could you discover?
Or on that stubble have you seen
A tinge of yellow and of green ? "
Euphrosyne alone was there,
And shook her sides upon the chair.
But a discerning Prophet's view
Darts on the scene Love's brighter hue.
'Tis thought, one day the Judge will die,
Then — what a finger's in the pie!
Escap'd from delicacy's fetters,
I publish and review his Letters:
The whims of chaos and the moon,
A Charge, a Sermon, or a Tune.
I see the Booksellers around me;
Their biddings with delight confound me:
His Portrait in the title-page —
The sheets hot-press'd, his birth, his age —
The varied pot-hooks that he wrote —
His gloves and boots, the whip and coat —
The nose that broke its lofty ridge —
His quarrels at the Palace-bridge —
His Royal Duke, and his Attornies —
The Hermit's cave , — the Pilgrim's journeys —
Executors may well embarass,
But smile upon the Poplar Terrace ;
Atone for Wit's unfeeling lashes,
And make a fortune of his ashes :
None of his ink shall run to waste —
We 'll sell his genius and his taste.
Enrich'd, like Job , at Satan's cost,
In pounds for all the pence we lost! "
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