[Page 57]


1 HAVE you not known a small machine
2 Which brazen rings environ,
3 In many a country chimney seen,
4 Y-clep'd a tarring-iron?
5 Its puzzling nature to display
6 Each idle clown may try, Sir,
7 Tho, when he has acquir'd the way,
8 He's not a jot the wiser.
[Page 58]
9 'Tis thus with him, who fond of rhime
10 In Wit's low species piddles;
11 And tires his thoughts, and wastes his time
12 In explicating riddles.
13 Shall idle bards, by fancy led,
14 (With wrathful zeal I speak it)
15 Write with design to plague my head,
16 Who have no right to break it?
17 He writes the best, who, writing, can
18 Both please and teach together:
19 But 'tis the devil of a plan,
20 That can accomplish neither.
21 Ye readers, hear! ye writers too!
22 O spare your darkling labours!
23 For, tho' they please, not profit, you,
24 They plague and hurt your neighbours.
25 Go learn of POPE; then judge aright,
26 Which way to Fame's the surer;
27 To put the truth in fairest light,
28 Or render it obscurer.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Upon RIDDLES.
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
References: DMI 27248

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 57-58. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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