[Page 58]

VERSES to a Writer of RIDDLES.

1 AH! boast not those obscuring lays,
2 Nor think it sure and certain
3 That every one can draw a face,
4 Who can produce a curtain.
[Page 59]
5 POPE does the flourish'd truth no hurt,
6 While graceful flowers disguise it;
7 Thou daub'st it so with mud and dirt,
8 That not a soul espies it.
9 His fancy decks, thy fancy shrowds;
10 What likeness is between 'em?
11 'Twixt one who soars above the clouds,
12 And one entangled in 'em?
13 But let my candour not upbraid
14 Thy strains, which flow so purely;
15 It is thy secret, 'tis thy trade,
16 Thy craft to write obscurely.
17 Obscurity in thee to blame
18 I've not the least pretence;
19 'Tis that alone can guard thy fame,
20 The style that suits thy sense.
21 When Nature forms an horrid mien
22 Less fit for vulgar sight;
23 The creature, fearful to be seen,
24 Spontaneous shuns the light.
25 The bat uncouth thro' instinct fears
26 The prying eyes of day;
27 Yet when the sun no more appears,
28 Securely wings away.
29 'Tis instinct bids the frightful owl
30 To devious glooms repair;
31 And points out Riddles to a fool,
32 To wrap his genius there.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): VERSES to a Writer of RIDDLES.
Author: Anonymous
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
References: DMI 27249

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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. 58-59. 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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