…from the quills of dead white poets
Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)
Has heaven reserv’d, in pity to the poor,
No pathless waste, or undiscover’d shore?
No secret island in the boundless main?
No peaceful desert yet unclaimed by Spain?
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,
And bear oppression’s insolence no more.
This mournful truth is everywhere confess’d,
SLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY DEPRESS’D:
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold;
Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor’d,
The groom retails the favours of his lord.
But hark! th’ affrighted crowd’s tumultuous cries
Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies:
Rais’d from some pleasing dream of wealth and power,
Some pompous palace, or some blissful bow’r;
Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight
Sustain th’ approaching fire’s tremendous light;
Swift from pursuing horrors take your way,
And leave your little ALL to flames a prey;
Then thro’ the world a wretched vagrant roam,
For where can starving merit find a home?
In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your woes.