imself alone refers,
What was design'd for thousands more
He 'll show too plainly, where he's sore
Yet ev'n from such I crave excuse,
For (far from personal abuse)
My verse in gen'ral would put down
True life and manners of the town.
But here, perhaps, some one will ask
Why I, forsooth, embraced this task ?
If Esop, though a Phrygian, rose,
And ev'n derived from Scythian snows;
If Anacharsis could devise
By wit to gain th' immortal prize;
Shall I, who to learn'd Greece belong,
Neglect her honour and her song,
And by dull sloth myself disgrace ?
Since we can reckon up in Thrace,
The authors that have sweetest sung,
Where Linus from Apollo sprung;
And he whose mother was a muse,
Whose voice could tenderness infuse
To solid rocks, strange monsters quell'd,
And Hebrus in his course withheld.
Envy, stand clear, or thou shalt rue
Th' attack, for glory is my due.
Thus having wrought upon your ear,
I beg that you would be sincere,
And in the poet's cause avow
That candor, all the world allow.