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COME hither, boy, we 'll hunt to-day The Book-worm, rav’ning beast of prey ! Produc'd by parent Earth, at odds, As Fame reports it, with the gods. Him frantic hunger wildly drives Against a thousand authors' lives : Through all the fields of wit he flies; Dreadful his wit with clust'ring eyes, With horns without, and tusks within, And scales to serve him for a skin. Observe him nearly, lest he climb To wound the bards of ancient time, Or down the vale of Fancy go, To tear some modern wretch below. On ev'ry corner fix thine eye, Or ten to one he slips thee by. See where his teeth a passage eat: We'll rouse him from the deep retreat.
But who the shelter's forc'd to give?
Insatiate brute, whose teeth abuse The sweetest servants of the Muse ! (Nay, never offer to deny, I took thee in the fact to fly.) His roses nipt in ev'ry page, My poor Anacreon mourns thy rage ; By thee my Ovid wounded lies; By thee my Lesbia’s sparrow dies; Thy rabid teeth have half destroy'd The work of love in Biddy Floyd ; They rent Belinda's locks away, And spoil'd the Blouzelind of Gay.
For all, for ev'ry single deed,
Bring Homer, Virgil, Tasso near, To pile a sacred altar here; Hold, boy! thy hand outruns thy wit, You've reach'd the plays that Dennis writ; You've reach'd me Philips' rustic strain; Pray take your mortal Bards again.
Come, bind the victim—there he lies;
The goblet in my hand I take,
Sense may they seek, and less engage
Now bring the weapon, yonder blade, With which my tuneful pens are made. I strike the scales that arm thee round, And twice and thrice I print the wound; The sacred altar floats with red, And now he dies—and now he's dead..
How like the son of Jove I stand, This Hydra stretch'd beneath my hand! Lay bare the monster's entrails here, To see what dangers threat the year: Ye gods! what sonnets on a wench! What lean translations out of French! "Tis plain, this lobe is so unsound,
p rints before the months go round.
But hold-before I close the scene,
Rent from the corps, on yonder pin
" This trophy from the Python won, “ This robe in which the deed was done, “ These Parnell, glorying in the feat, “Hung on these shelves, the Muses' seat. “ Here Ignorance and Hunger found " Large realms of Wit to ravage round;