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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Advice to the Grub Street Verse Writers




YE poets ragged and forlorn,
Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers dead as soon as born,
Not yet consigned to paste.

I know a trick to make you thrive;
O, 'tis a quaint device:
Your stillborn poems shall revive,
And scorn to wrap up spice.

Get all your verses printed fair,
Then let them well be dried;
And Curll must have a special care
To leave the margin wide.

Lend these to paper-sparing[1] Pope;
And when he sits to write,
No letter with an envelope
Could give him more delight.

When Pope has fill'd the margins round,
Why then recall your loan;
Sell them to Curll for fifty pound,
And swear they are your own.

  1. The original copy of Mr. Pope's celebrated translation of Homer (preserved in the British Museum) is almost entirely written on the covers of letters, and sometimes between the lines of the letters themselves.