An allusion to Spenser in an undated burlesque epistle to the poet's sister. Not seen.
How, sister, can you silent lie
When epic subject is so nigh?
What can the matter be? I'll try
At least by guess to nick ye.
Is it for losing Epworth's view,
Or parting with some lover new,
Or pining after sister Sue
Or favourite brother Dicky?
For shame! now tune your warbling string,
As poets speak; essay to sing
Of Wroote, till all the levels ring,
Pleased with a theme so pretty;
Than Sandhole more,— I'll tell you that,—
Or Pat, or Poll, or Snip the cat,
Or lovers' and long-saddles' chat,
Deserving of your ditty. . . .
For every now and then, Fame sings,
Glad plenty to your table brings
Boil'd veal and bacon, food for kings,
Too good for low-born sinner!
Choose you to see the lambkins bleat,
And nibble, innocent, their meat?
Or else their legs and loins to eat,
Luxurious, for your dinner?
No fear that wolves should steal your ewes,
If erst, as tells old Spenser's muse,
A king did by a tax reduce
Their numerous herds to nothing.
The gentle swains may now go sleep
That use four-footed flocks to keep:
No danger but to two-legg'd sheep
From wolves in shepherds' clothing.