Poems » william henry drummond » absalom and achitophel the second part



     Now stop your noses, readers, all and some,
For here's a tun of midnight-work to come,
Og from a treason tavern rolling home.
Round as a globe, and liquor'd ev'ry chink,
Goodly and great he sails behind his link:
With all this bulk there's nothing lost in Og,
For ev'ry inch that is not fool is rogue:
A monstrous mass of foul corrupted matter,
As all the devils had spew'd to make the batter.
When wine has given him courage to blaspheme,
He curses God, but God before curst him;
And if man could have reason none has more,
That made his paunch so rich and him so poor.
With wealth he was not trusted, for Heav'n knew
What 'twas of old to pamper up a Jew:
To what would he on quail and pheasant swell,
That ev'n on tripe and carrion could rebel?
But though Heav'n made him poor, (with rev'rence speaking,)
He never was a poet of God's making;
The midwife laid her hand on his thick skull,
With this prophetic blessing-- Be thou dull ;
Drink, swear and roar, forbear no lewd delight
Fit for thy bulk, do anything but write:
Thou art of lasting make, like thoughtless men,
A strong nativity--but for the pen;
Eat opium, mingle arsenic in thy drink,
Still thou mayst live avoiding pen and ink.
I see, I see, 'tis counsel given in vain,
For treason botch'd in rhyme will be thy bane;
Rhyme is the rock on which thou art to wreck,
'Tis fatal to thy fame and to thy neck:
Why should thy metre good King David blast?
A psalm of his will surely be thy last.
Dar'st thou presume in verse to meet thy foes,
Thou whom the penny pamphlet foil'd in prose?
Doeg, whom God for mankind's mirth has made,
O'er-tops thy talent in thy very trade;
Doeg to thee, thy paintings are so coarse,
A poet is, though he's the poet's horse.
A double noose thou on thy neck dost pull
For writing treason, and for writing dull;
To die for faction is a common evil,
But to be hang'd for non-sense is the devil:
Hadst thou the glories of thy king exprest,
Thy praises had been satire at the best;
But thou in clumsy verse, unlickt, unpointed,
Hast shamefully defi'd the Lord's anointed:
I will not rake the dung-hill of thy crimes,
For who would read thy life that reads thy rhymes?
But of King David's foes, be this the doom,
May all be like the young man Absalom;
And for my foes may this their blessing be,
To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee.