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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/On Dr. Sheridan's Circular Verses


WITH musick and poetry equally blest,
A bard thus Apollo most humbly addrest;
"Great author of harmony, verses, and light!
Assisted by thee, I both fiddle and write.
Yet unheeded I scrape, or I scribble all day,
My verse is neglected, my tunes thrown away.
Thy substitute here, Vice-Apollo[1], disdains
To vouch for my numbers, or list to my strains;
Thy manual signet refuses to put
To the airs I produce from the pen or the gut.
Be thou then propitious, great Phœbus! and grant
Relief, or reward, to my merit, or want.
Though the Dean and Delany transcendently shine,
O brighten one solo or sonnet of mine!
With them I'm content thou shouldst make thy abode;
But visit thy servant in jig or in ode;
Make one work immortal: 'tis all I request."
Apollo look'd pleas'd; and, resolving to jest,
Reply'd, "Honest friend, I've considered thy case:
Nor dislike thy well-meaning and humourous face.
Thy petition I grant: the boon is not great;
Thy works shall continue; and here's the receipt.
On rondeaus hereafter thy fiddlestrings spend:
Write verses in circles: they never shall end."