The Smoaker Smoak'd

The Smoaker Smoak'd  (1736) 
by James Thomson (1700-1748)

A reply to Isaac Hawkins Browne's A Pipe of Tobacco, which parodied Thomson (among others).

Still from thy pipe, as from dull Tophet, say,
Ascends the smoak, for ever and for aye?
No end of nasty impoetic breath?
Foh! dost thou mean to stink the town to death?
Wilt thou confound the poets, in thine ire,
Thou man of mighty smoak, but little fire!
Apollo bids thee from Parnassus fly,
Where not one cloud e'er stain'd his purest sky,
Hence! and o'er fat Boeotia roll thy steams;
Nor spit and spawl about the Muses streams.
These maids celestial, like our earthly fair,
Cou'd never yet a filthy smoaker bear.
Were to the dusky tribe Parnassus free,
What clamb'ring up, what crowding shou'd we see?
Against the tuneful god what mortal sin?
Good lord! what parsons wou'd come bustling in?
What foggy politicians, templars, cits!
What coffee-house, what ale-house muddy wits!
Take this plain lesson, imitating Zany!
First learn to write, before you write like any.
Be cautious, mortal! whom you imitate,
And wise, remember vain Salmoneus' fate;
Thro' Grecian cities he, through Elis, drove;
And, flashing torches, deem'd himself a Jove:
Madman! to think for thunder thus to pass
His chariot rattling o'er a bridge of brass.
Wrathful at this, from deep surrounding gloom,
Th' almighty father seiz'd the forky doom;
(No firebrand that, omitting smoaky light,
But with impatient vengeance fiercely bright;)
He seiz'd, and hurl'd it on the thundering elf,
Who straight vile ashes fell, his thunders and himself.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.