[Page 153]


The Poet and the Rose.

1 I Hate the man who builds his name
2 On ruins of another's fame.
3 Thus prudes by characters o'erthrown
4 Imagine that they raise their own;
5 Thus scriblers, covetous of praise,
6 Think slander can transplant the bays.
[Page 154]
7 Beauties and bards have equal pride,
8 With both all rivals are decry'd.
9 Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature,
10 Must call her sister, aukward creature;
11 For the kind flatt'ry's sure to charm,
12 When we some other nymph disarm.
13 As in the cool of early day
14 A Poet sought the sweets of May,
15 The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
16 And ev'ry stalk with odour bends.
17 A rose he pluck'd, he gaz'd, admir'd,
18 Thus singing as the Muse inspir'd.
19 Go, Rose, my Chloe's bosom grace;
20 How happy should I prove,
21 Might I supply that envy'd place
22 With never-fading love!
23 There, Phenix like, beneath her eye,
24 Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die!
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25 Know, hapless flower, that thou shalt find
26 More fragrant roses there;
27 I see thy with'ring head reclin'd
28 With envy and despair!
29 One common fate we both must prove;
30 You die with envy, I with love.
31 Spare your comparisons, reply'd
32 An angry Rose, who grew beside;
33 Of all mankind you should not flout us;
34 What can a Poet do without us!
35 In ev'ry love-song roses bloom;
36 We lend you colour and perfume.
37 Does it to Chloe's charms conduce,
38 To found her praise on our abuse?
39 Must we, to flatter her, be made
40 To wither, envy, pine and fade?


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): FABLE [45] XLV. The Poet and the Rose.
Author: John Gay
Themes: animals
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 153-155. [14],173,[1]p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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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