To Mr. Edward Howard, on his Incomparable, Incomprehensible Poem Called The British Princes
Come on, ye critics! Find one fault who dare,
For, read it backward like a witch's prayer,
'Twill do as well; throw not away your jests
On solid nonsense that abides all tests.
Wit, like tierce claret, when 't begins to pall,
Neglected lies and's of no use at all;
But in its full perfection of decay,
Turns vinegar and comes again in play.
This simile shall stand in thy defence
'Gainst such dull rogues as now and then write sense.
He lies, dear Ned, who says thy brain is barren,
Where deep conceits, like vermin, breed in carrion;
Thou hast a brain, such as thou hast, indeed --
On what else should thy worm of fancy feed?
Yet in a filbert I have often known
Maggots survive when all the kernel's gone.
Thy style's the same whatever be the theme,
As some digestions turn all meat to phlegm:
Thy stumbling, founder'd jade can trot as high
As any other Pegasus can fly.
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To Mr. Edward Howard on His New Utopia
Thou damn'd antipodes to common sense!
Thou foil to Flecknoe! Prithee tell from whence
Does all this mighty stock of dullness spring,
Which in such loads thou to the stage dost bring?
Is't all thy own, or hast thou from Snow Hill
Th'assistance of some ballad-making quill?
No, they fly higher yet; thy plays are such
I'd swear they were translated out of Dutch:
And who the devil was e'er yet so drunk
To own the volumes of Mynheer Van Dunk?
Fain would I know what diet thou dost keep,
If thou dost always or dost never sleep.
Sure hasty pudding is thy chiefest dish;
With lights and livers and with stinking fish,
Oxcheek, tripe, garbage, thou dost treat thy brain,
Which nobly pays this tribute back again.
With daisy roots thy dwarfish muse is fed:
A giant's body with a pigmy's head.
Canst thou not find 'mongst all thy num'rous race
One friend so kind to tell thee that thy play's
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