Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Cry for Hire by Horace



Take leave of Woe, and the soft Joys of Love: 
And no Musician dares pretend to Skill, 
Without a great Expence of Time and Pains-, 
But ev'ry little busy Scribbler now 
Swells with the Praises which he gives himself ; 
And taking Sanauary in the Crowd, 
Brags of his Impudence, and looms to mend. 
A Wealthy Poet takes more Pains to hire 
A Flatt'ring Audience, than poor Tradesmen i.'i 
To persuade Customers to buy their Goods: 
'Tis hard to find a Man of great Estate, 
That can distinguish Flatterers from Friends. 
Never delude your self, nor read your Book 
Before a brib'd and fawning Auditor.; 
For he'll commend, and feign an Ecstasy, 
Grow pale or weep, do any thing to please; ^ 
True Friends appear less mov'd than Counterfeit 5 
As Men that truly grieve at Funerals, 
Are not so loud as those that cry for Hire. 
Wise were the Kings, who never chose a Friend, 
'Till with full Cups they had unmask'd his Soul, 
And seen the Bottom of his deepest Thoughts. 
You cannot arm your self with too much Care 
Against the Smiles of a designing Knave. 
Umtillius (if his Advice were ask'd) 
Would freely tell you what you should correct, 
Or (if you could not) bid you blot it out, 
And with more Care supply the Vacancy ; 
But if he found you fond and obstinate 
(And apter to defend, than mend your Faults) 
With Silence leave you to admire your self, 
And without Rival hug your darling Book : 

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