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WRITTEN FOR A LADY'S COMMON-PLACE BOOK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ah! Who can imagine what plague and what bothers
Last Line: Shall shine on the belle of the state of r-- I-- --
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets

AH! who can imagine what plague and what bothers
He feels, who sits down to write verses for others!
His pen must be mended, his inkstand be ready,
His paper laid square, and his intellects steady;
And then for a subject -- No, that's not the way,
For genuine poets don't care what they say,
But how they shall say it. So now for a measure,
That's suited alike to your taste and my leisure.
For instance, if you were a matron of eighty,
The verse should be dignified, solemn, and weighty;
And luckless the scribbler who had not the tact,
To make every line a sheer matter of fact.
Or if you were a stiff, worn-out spinster, too gouty
To make a good sylph, and too sour for a beauty;
Too old for a flirt, and too young to confess it;
Too good to complain of 't, and too bad to bless it;
The muse should turn out some unblamable sonnet,
And mutter blank verse in her comments upon it:
Demure in her walk, should look down to her shoe,
And pick the dry pathway, for fear of the dew.
But for you, she shall trip it, wherever she goes,
As light and fantastic as L'Allegro's toes;
Wade, swim, fly, or scamper, full-fledged and webb-footed,
Or on Pegasus mounted, well spurred and well booted,
With martingale fanciful, crupper poetic,
Saddle cloth airy, and whip energetic,
Girths woven of rainbows, and hard-twisted flax,
And horse-shoes as bright as the edge of an axe;
How blithe should she amble and prance on the road,
With a pillion behind for -- -- -- ----.
By Helicon's waters she'll take her sweet course,
And indent the green turf with the hoofs of her horse;
Up blooming Parnassus bound higher and higher,
While the gate-keeping Graces no toll shall require;
And the other eight Muses shall dance in cotillion,
And sing round the sweep of Apollo's pavillion--
While Phoeligbus himself, standing godlike on dry land,
Shall shine on the belle of the state of R-- I-- --

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