1725 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Mitchell

Anonymous, in "The Sine-Cure, a Poetical Petition to the Right Honourable R—t W—e, Esq; for the Government of Duck-Island, in St. James's Park" The Plain Dealer (7 May 1725).



Weary'd with vain Pursuits, and humble grown,
Sad in the Country, and too poor for Town:
O how I long, in some soft, silent Seat,
To tast calm Quiet in Serene Retreat,
Where Books and Ease and Time for serious Thought,
May make Wit, Wisdom, e'er I'm good for nought.
Walpole to Thee, the Muse afflicted flies,
And from the deep, like Shipwreck'd Jonah Cries;
Thou, the Right of Fortune form'd to give,
Let me not die before I've learn'd to live.
I not for Lordly Post or Pension, plead,
(Sure Heaven will my reduc'd Desires succeed!)
St. James's Wilderness the Park's fair Isle,
Would crown my Wish, and Cares long Hand beguile.
On that delightful and sequester'd Spot,
Fitted for me, as Zoar was for Lot:
I'd full Content and Satisfaction find,
And cultivate the Garden of my Mind....

How pleas'd is Fancy? How do Dreams delight,
And ah! What pity, mine shou'd prove a bite?
Hear me thou Atlas of our leaning State—
Consent at least, to make the Poet Great.
On Thee, the Muses shall fix their Eye,
And for thy Glory, whole Parnassus Vie.
To guard our Hopes, has been the Hero's pride,
'Tis good to have the Poets on thy side.—
I for return, will Yearly Homage pay,
And hail the rising of thy Natal Day.
Nor only this, — but now and then Afford,
A Trout or Duck, to dignify thy Board.

'Tis done — Hear the Royal Mandate giv'n,
Let Mitchel have his poor Poetic Heav'n;
And to support his Government, We grant,
Twice Fifty Pounds per Annum — all I want.
Boy fill the Bowl — 'tis decent to be glad,
Homer, on less Occasion, had run mad.