To the Gentleman who offer'd 50 Pounds to any Person who should write the best POEM by May next on five Subjects, viz. Life, Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell

Original Text: 
Janes Brereton, Poems on Several Occasions (London: Edward Cave, 1744): 215-17. ECCO
1But fifty Pounds! -- A sorry Sum!
2You'd more need offer half a Plumb:
3Five weighty Subjects well to handle?
4Sir, you forget the Price of Candle;
5And Leather too; when late and soon,
6I shall be paceing o'er my Room,
7Bite close my Nails, and scratch my Head,
8When other People are in Bed.
9'Tis known old Swift, Dan Pope and Toung,
10Those Leaders of the rhiming Throng,
11Are better paid for Meditations,
12On the most trifling Occasions;
14Or any Whim they shew their Art in.
15Alas, an idle Farce, or Play,
16Such as Tom Thumb , or Phillida,
17Is better lik'd, will sooner sell,
18Than pious Subjects trated well.
19I ever lov'd the true Sublime,
20And think the Theme is worth my Time;
21But I'm a Maid, whose Fortune's small,
22Or I would ask no Pay at all:
23But straight sit down, invoke my Muse;
24For those are Subjects I would chuse.
25But as an Author lately writ,
26The Muses! they are Virgins yet;
27And may be, -- till they Portions get:
28So, as' tis Wealth that all Men follow,
29Not Jove' s fair Daughters, nor Apollo:
30Methinks, I'd fain increase the Blessing,
31For which such Crowds are daily pressing.
32O Wealth! thou universal Passion!
33So much desir'd in this our Nation;
34That should the Doctor write again,
35He would say Wealth instead of Fame.
36But to return from my Digression,
37And be more clear in my Expression;
38That is, Sir, if you'd have it done,
39Pray add a Cypher to your Sum:
40I did but jest 'bout half a Plumb.

Notes

13] Farting. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1734
Publication Notes: 
In Gentleman's Magazine
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Form: