The greater portion of the rhyming tribe
(Give ear, my friend, for thou hast been a scribe)40
Are led astray by some peculiar lure.
I labour to be brief—become obscure;
One falls while following Elegance too fast;
Another soars, inflated with Bombast;
Too low a third crawls on, afraid to fly,
He spins his subject to Satiety;
Absurdly varying, he at last engraves
Fish in the woods, and boars beneath the waves!
Now this to me, I own, seems much the same
Unless your care's exact, your judgment nice,
The flight from Folly leads but into Vice;50
None are complete, all wanting in some part,
Like certain tailors, limited in art.
For galligaskins Slowshears is your man
But coats must claim another artisan.
The greater portion of the men of rhyme
Parents and childreft or their Sires sublime.—[MS. M.]
- But change the malady they strive to cure.—[MS. L. (a).]
- Fish in the woods and wild-boars in the waves.—[MS. M.]
For Coat and waistcoat Slowshears is your man,
But Breeches claim another Artisan;
Now this to me I own seems much the same
As one leg perfect and the other lame.—[MSS. M., L. (a).]
———— Sweitzer is your man.—[MS. M. erased.]
- Mere common mortals were commonly content with one Taylor and with one bill, but the more particular gentlemen found it impossible to confide their lower garments to the makers of their body clothes. I speak of the beginning of 1809: what reform may have since taken place I neither know, nor desire to know.—[MSS. L. (b), M.]