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Farewell to London

Alexander Pope 1688 (London) – 1744 (Twickenham)

Dear, damn'd distracting town, farewell!
Thy fools no more I'll tease:
This year in peace, ye critics, dwell,
Ye harlots, sleep at ease!

Soft B-- and rough C--s adieu,
Earl Warwick made your moan,
The lively H--k and you
May knock up whores alone.

To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
Till the third watchman's toll;
Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde
Save three-pence and his soul.

Farewell, Arbuthnot's raillery
On every learned sot;
And Garth, the best good Christian he,
Although he knows it not.

Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;
Farewell, unhappy Tonson!
Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe,
Lean Philips, and fat Johnson.

Why should I stay? Both parties rage;
My vixen mistress squalls;
The wits in envious feuds engage:
And Homer (damn him!) calls.

The love of arts lies cold and dead
In Halifax's urn:
And not one Muse of all he fed
Has yet the grace to mourn.

My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
Betray, and are betrayed:
Poor Y--r's sold for fifty pound,
And B--ll is a jade.

Why make I friendships with the great,
When I no favour seek?
Or follow girls, seven hours in eight?
I us'd but once a week.

Still idle, with a busy air,
Deep whimsies to contrive;
The gayest valetudinaire,
Most thinking rake, alive.

Solicitous for others' ends,
Though fond of dear repose;
Careless or drowsy with my friends,
And frolic with my foes.

Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
For sober, studious days!
And Burlington's delicious meal,
For salads, tarts, and pease!

Adieu to all, but Gay alone,
Whose soul, sincere and free,
Loves all mankind, but flatters none,
And so may starve with me.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Homer. more…

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