chapter  31
A Letter to a Brother of the Pen in Tribulation.
Pages 1

Poor Damon! Art thou caught? Is’t ev’n so? Art thou become a* Tabernacler too? Where sure thou dost not mean to Preach or Pray, Unless it be the clean contrary way: 5 This holy (a) time I little thought thy sin Deserv’d a Tub to do its Pennance in. O how you’ll for th’ Ægyptian Flesh-pots wish, When you’r half-famish’d with your Lenten-dish, Your Almonds, Currans, Biskets hard and dry, 10 Food that will Soul and Body mortifie: Damn’d Penetential Drink, that will infuse Dull Principles into thy Grateful Muse. —Pox on’t that you must needs be fooling now, Just when the Wits had greatest (b) need of you. 15 Was Summer then so long a coming on, That you must make an Artificial one? Much good may’t do thee; but ’tis thought thy Brain E’er long will wish for cooler Days again. For Honesty no more will I engage: 20 I durst have sworn thou’dst had thy Pusillage. Thy Looks the whole Cabal have cheated too; But thou wilt say, most of the Wits do so. Is this thy writing (c) Plays? who thought thy Wit An Interlude of Whoring would admit? 25 To Poetry no more thou’lt be inclin’d, Unless in Verse to damn all Woman-kind: And ’tis but Just thou shouldst in Rancor grow Against that Sex that has Confin’d thee so. All things in Nature now are Brisk and Gay 30 At the Approaches of the Blooming May: The new-fletch’d Birds do in our Arbors sing A Thousand Airs to welcome in the Spring; Whilst ev’ry Swain is like a Bridegroom drest, And ev’ry Nymph as going to a Feast: 35 The Meadows now their flowry Garments wear, And ev’ry Grove does in its Pride appear: Whilst thou poor Damon in close Rooms art pent, Where hardly thy own Breath can find a vent. Yet that too is a Heaven, compar’d to th’ Task 40 Of Codling every Morning in a Cask. Now I could curse this Female, but I know, She needs it not, that thus cou’d handle you. Besides, that Vengeance does to thee belong, And ’twere Injustice to disarm thy Tongue. 45 Curse then, dear Swain, that all the Youth may hear, And from thy dire Mishap be taught to fear. Curse till thou hast undone the Race, and all That did contribute to thy Spring and Fall.