An authors address to his first work,
on its going to be printed.
Oh spring like Pallas, daughter of the brain,
First darling product of my spousal Muse,
List to a parent’s love-incited strain,
And in thy breast the dictates deep infuse!
When to the bridegroom press your fairly wed,
Thy virgin beauties duly laid in sheets
May num’rous offspring grace thy bridal bed,
And spread thy fame thro’ learning’s lov’d retreats.
But chief tho’ that fair Row1, where loads of lore,
Of sense and nonsense, cram the bending shelf;
Where folly’s fictions, and the sage’s store,
By turns are barter’d for substantial pelf.
And guard lest critic Cerberus upbraid
Growling for want of customary slice;
Swift give the cur, the tribute of his trade,
Since praise is bought and critics have their price.
And know, slow sale, (oh deep vexation) waits
The author, lash’d by rude reviewers’ stripes,
His works, immortal gods, shall fill up grates
Or line portmanteaus, or illumine pipes!
Pompous Morocco, economic sheep,
Nor royal Russia cloath his bantling’s back;
Dread this my child — ascend Parnassus’ steep,
A parent’s hopes attend thee on thy track! —
Pater-noster Row ↩