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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Poems: 1713–17

A Farewell to London

In the Year 1715

DEAR, damn’d, distracting town, farewell!

Thy fools no more I ’ll tease:

This year in peace, ye Critics, dwell,

Ye Harlots, sleep at ease!

Soft B——s and rough C[ragg]s, adieu!

Earl Warwick, make your moan;

The lively H[inchenbroo]k and you

May knock up whores alone.

To drink and droll be Rowe allow’d

Till the third watchman’s toll;

Let Jervas gratis paint, and Froude

Save threepence and his soul.

Farewell Arbuthnot’s raillery

On every learned sot;

And Garth, the best good Christian he,

Although he knows it not.

Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;

Farewell, unhappy Tonson!

Heav’n gives thee for thy loss of Rowe,

Lean Philips and fat Johnson.

Why should I stay? Both parties rage;

My vixen mistress squalls;

The Wits in envious feuds engage;

And Homer (damn him!) calls.

The love of arts lies cold and dead

In Halifax’s urn;

And not one Muse of all he fed

Has yet the grace to mourn.

My friends, by turns, my friends confound,

Betray, and are betray’d:

Poor Y[ounge]r ’s sold for fifty pounds,

And B[ickne]ll is a jade.

Why make I friendships with the great,

When I no favour seek?

Or follow girls seven hours in eight?—

I need but once a week.

Still idle, with a busy air,

Deep whimseys to contrive;

The gayest valetudinarie,

Most thinking rake alive.

Solicitous for others’ ends,

Tho’ fond of dear repose;

Careless or drowsy with my friends,

And frolic with my foes.

Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,

For sober, studious days!

And Burlington’s delicious meal,

For salads, tarts, and pease!

Adieu to all but Gay alone,

Whose soul sincere and free,

Loves all mankind but flatters none,

And so may starve with me.