The Poet Quarrels with His Muse

Mr Flaxman

Get hence you Jade, you me torment
With freaks and fancies every moment
And keep me in continual ferment
Or melancholy.
You tease me with the true sublime,
And wicked beggar making rhyme,
And thus you make me lose my time,
 To please your folly
What’s grace to me and beauty bright,
Or visions above mortal sight,
They only lead to wretched plight,
 Or plunge in madness.
And this is your poetic power,
Thus you intend to keep me poor,
Or make me beg from door to door
 In doleful sadness.
You vixen, look at that fat cit,
A man without a grain of wit,
Yet cheating, he his bags can get,
 As full as Croesus.
Whilst your poor love bewitched drone,
If dry, may drink at Helicon,
Or hungry, eat the solid stone
 Of Mount Parnassus.

More fresh the air, more green the fields,
Such the delights that freedom yields.
Poor beast! how short must be the measure
Of this, like every stolen pleasure!
How shall he ’scape Eliza’s ken,
Tyrant alike of ass and men!
Too soon, alas! she joins pursuit
Determin’d no one else shall do’t,
And vain is Dapple’s fleetest pace
When sylphs oppose him in the race
Instant as thought the fair-one finds him
And straight in silken cords she binds him
Those silken cords which erst — but hold — 
From whence they came must not be told — 
Yet think I this a hint may give
To beaux that in her fetters live
Who tries for freedom these to barter
She’ll surely hang him in her garter.