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Austin Dobson:- {5}

THE BOOK-PLATE'S PETITION.

By a Gentleman of the Temple.

While cynic CHARLES still trimm'd the vane

'Twixt Querouaille and Castlemaine,

In days that shocked JOHN EVELYN,

My First Possessor fix'd me in.

In days of Dutchmen and of frost,

The narrow sea with JAMES I cross'd,

Returning when once more began

The Age of Saturn and of ANNE.

I am a part of all the past;

I knew the GEORGES, first and last;

I have been oft where else was none

Save the great wig of ADDISON;

And seen on shelves beneath me grope

The little eager form of POPE.

I lost the Third that own'd me when

French NOAILLES fled at Dettingen;

The year JAMES WOLFE surpris'd Quebec,

The Fourth in hunting broke his neck;

The day that WILLIAM HOGARTH dy'd,

The Fifth one found me in Cheapside.

This was a Scholar, one of those

Whose Greek is sounder than their hose;

He lov'd old Books and nappy ale,

So liv'd at Streatham, next to THRALE.

'Twas there this stain of grease I boast

Was made by Dr. JOHNSON'S toast.

(He did it, as I think, for Spite;

My Master call'd him Jacobite!)

And now that I so long to-day

Have rested post discrimina,

Safe in the brass-wir'd book-case where

I watch'd the Vicar's whit'ning hair,

Must I these travell'd bones inter

In some Collector's sepulchre!

Must I be torn from hence and thrown

With frontispiece and colophon!

With vagrant E's, and I's, and O's,

The spoil of plunder'd Folios!

With scraps and snippets that to ME

Are naught but kitchen company!

Nay, rather, FRIEND, this favour grant me:

Tear me at once; but don't transplant me.

CHELTENHAM, Sept. 31, 1792.

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