Oh why with unrelenting spade
Each street and alley thus invade,
Destroy the pavement, spoil the road,
And make us fear to come abroad:
The carriage lately wont to bear,
At ease reclined, some tender fair,
Now rattling o’er rough rugged stones
Threatens to dislocate her bones.
What boots it that your new supplies
May clearer flow, or loftier rise
(The offspring of the silver Thames
Whom commerce hails the prince of streams)
When thrifty housewives still maintain,
Your iron pipes their linen stain,
And fear lest these conductors dread,
Should draw the lightning on their head.
Desist, then, lest the tribe, to spite you,
Should as a nuisance next indite you
For while their rancorous tongues pursue
Nor fame nor profit can ensue.
Unless indeed ye could lay on,
A stream from ancient Helicon,
Whose inexhaustible supplies,
Would surely fetch a double price
And o’er all common level rise.
Each titled bard, who long in vain
Has sought the Muses’ smiles to gain,
Eager for fame, would joyful pay
For genius to inspire his lay.
Th’exchange the differing tastes would hit,
Their money yours, and theirs the wit.
Then thousands who with ceaseless toil
Whole reams of guiltless paper spoil,
Might then transmit to every age,
Full many a bright instructive page,
Which their great-grandsons might con o’er,
And glory in their sires of yore.
Your praises mingled in their lay
Should female rancour do away
And joined with many a lofty name
Your own should swell the list of fame.