Invocation to the Muses

Miss Porden

A la Grub Street

 Down on my marrow-bones I fall
To you, O Muses, one and all
O wherefore thus so long deny
Your hapless son a partial eye,
If you’ll not grant one cheering glance,
Cast on your slave, a squint askance,
If not his frozen breast inspire
With all the fervours of your fire
O let him at the friendly blaze
Just warm his icy hands and face,
And if he may not hear your song,
In sweeping chorus pour along,
O grant at least his ravished ear,
The tunings of your harps to hear.

 Then soon your suppliant’s grateful lays
To distant climes shall spread your praise,
Or shine the chief support confest,
Of your much favoured Attic Chest.
Then while I hear my verses read
I’ll silent hang my conscious head,
Or fix in gravity my face,
Or twirl my thumbs with absent grace,
Or with a firm unvaried smile,
All keen, suspicious eyes beguile,
While all the circle round admire
My humour, learning, sense and fire,
And with one voice, accordant cry,
Rapt to the height of ecstasy,
“O how sublime! how soft! how sweet!
O Editress, that strain repeat!”
Then I’ll the general plaudits join,
And dwell on each superior line,
And wonder who gave birth to lays,
Entitled to such general praise.
And if they cry “’Tis you good Sir”
I’ll coolly say “I wish it were.”
But when at length the birthday comes,
And each his proper rank assumes,
My kind consenting smile and bow,
To envious bards the truth will shew
While all delighted, once again,
Raise to my verse worth th’ applauding strain.