A Farewell To London

A poem by Alexander Pope


1 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!

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

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

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

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

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

7 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.

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

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

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

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

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

13 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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