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-Advice

TO THE GRUB-STREET VERSE-WRITERS

1726


Ye poets ragged and forlorn,
  Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born,
  Not yet consign'd to paste;

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

Get all your verses printed fair, Then let them well be dried; And Curll[1] must have a special care To leave the margin wide.

Lend these to paper-sparing[2] Pope; And when he sets 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.


[Footnote 1: The infamous piratical bookseller. See Pope's Works, passim.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: The original copy of 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.]


Jonathan Swift

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