Macer : A Character

A poem by Alexander Pope

When simple Macer, now of high renown,
First fought a Poet's Fortune in the Town,
'Twas all th' Ambition his high soul could feel,
To wear red stockings, and to dine with Steele.
Some Ends of verse his Betters might afford,
And gave the harmless fellow a good word.
Set up with these he ventur'd on the Town,
And with a borrow'd Play, out-did poor Crown.
There he stopp'd short, nor since has write a tittle,
But has the wit to make the most of little;
Like stunted hide-bound Trees, that just have got
Sufficient sap at once to bear and rot.
Now he begs Verse, and what he gets commends,
Not of the Wits his foes, but Fools his friends.

So some coarse Country Wench, almost decay'd,
Trudges to town, and first turns Chambermaid;
Awkward and supple, each devoir to pay;
She flatters her good Lady twice a day;
Thought wond'rous honest, tho' of mean degree,
And strangely lik'd for her Simplicity:
In a translated Suit, then tries the Town,
With borrow'd Pins, and Patches not her own:
But just endur'd the winter she began,
And in four months a batter'd Harridan.
Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk,
To bawd for others, and go shares with Punk.

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