James Maxwell

7. To L-----------’s Subscribers

If for a prize you’ve got a blank,
You well may know whom you should thank.

Your fav’rite B— you took to be
A dext’rous judge of poetry.

His M—k Poet he befriended,
And much his genius he commended.

You thought what he could recommend,
Would sure be most sublimely penn’d.

L— you took upon his word,
In hopes he would good sense afford.

Now you have got him, you may know
Whether he yields good sense or no.

If you’re a strumpet or a rake,
You sure have found a sad mistake.

If you’re a saint you find the same,
And well may know whom you should blame.

If merry, you find nothing there,
To make you either laugh or stare.

If serious you can nothing find,
To satisfy your thinking mind.

Well, since you all have lost your aim,
I’ll tell you what to do with them:

When balmy sleep forsakes your eyes,
And like coy virgin from you flies;

Read then L— but for an hour,
Sleep will resume its drowsy pow’r.

’Twill save a dose of Laudanum,
And make you slumber deaf and dumb.

But if you need them not for sleep,
Yet lay them by and and safely keep.

Until you needs must physic take,
Then you good use of them may make —

Or if you need them not to wipe,
They’ll handy be to light your pipe.

And if you should begrudge the cost,
Be thankful all is not quite lost:

And thankful be to R— B—,
For serving you such friendly turns:

For had L— ne’er seen that sight,
His nonsense ne’er had come to light.

And had not B— the same commended,
No purchasers had e’er intended.

So now for all your fun and sport,
To B— you may be thankful for’t.

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