[Page 60]

To ******

1 RESOLVE me, Strephon, what is this,
2 I think you cannot guess amiss.
3 'Tis the reverse of what you love,
4 And all the men of sense approve.
5 None of the Nine e'er gave it birth;
6 The offspring first of foolish mirth,
7 The nurs'ry's study, children's play,
8 Inferior far to Namby's lay.
9 What vacant Folly first admir'd,
10 And then with emulation fir'd,
11 Gravely to imitate, aspir'd.
12 'Tis opposite to all good writing,
13 In each defect of this delighting.
14 Obscurity its charms displays,
15 And inconsistency, its praise.
16 No gleam of sense to wake the soul,
17 While clouds of nonsense round it roll.
18 No smooth description to delight;
19 No fire the passions to excite;
20 Not joke enough to shake the pit:
21 A jest obscene wou'd here be wit.
22 What train of thought, tho' e'er so mean,
23 Of black-shoe-boy or cynder-quean,
24 But far out-shines Sir Fopling's mind
25 While bent this secret charm to find!
[Page 61]
26 The greatest charm as yet remains,
27 Best suited to the searcher's brains,
28 That when he seems on it to fall,
29 He finds there is no charm at all.
30 Th' appearance, first, of Nothing's fine,
31 To find it Nothing is divine!
32 But Batho is the flow'r, to sink
33 Below what mortal man can think
34 Well, now what is't? what is't a fiddle!
35 Yes, do be angry 'tis a Riddle.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): To ******
Themes: poetry; literature; writing
Genres: riddle
References: DMI 27250

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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. 60-61. 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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