Occlusion by Robert Bolling

To please Mankind enough I’ve writ
But never have succeeded yet
I therefore bid a Dieu to Verse
For who wou’d toil and rack his Brain
For pleasing Rhymes and but to gain
From every one who reads a Curse!
The Man who does sure
Is mad beyond Sequeira’s Art to cure.

A pert a lively Brat at Schole
Old Clarke woud cry This Boy’s no Fool
And in our annual Lays to Bess
(Such Lays I ween were never known
But in her royal Praise alone)
Because my Lines had equal Pace
My Rhymes were aptly paird
Th’ old Man wou’d say — the Whelp was born a Bard
Thence thence the tuneful Rage began
What warmd the Scholeboy warms the Man
Roxana Celia Delia heard
How horribly the Chimes I rung
How heartily their Charms I sung
In Troth the Maids plain Prose preferr’d
And what was meant as Praise
They swore was Slander in such wretched Lays.

I tho’t my Verses very good
And wondered Maids cou’d be rude
So vain fantastical precise
To Satire then I gave my Song
The Devil to pay there was ere long
My dear Self-love began to rise
But what nigh run me made
Th’ Illnature pleased my Verse they swore was bad.

God’s curse, as Miller says, I said,
I wish I ne’er had writ or read.
Such Miracles, such Beauties lost!
God’s curse again! — but tis Man’s Way
To shade th’ enlivening solar Ray
From rising Flowers; — but not the Frost.
Again my skill Ill try;
And then I warbled forth in Elegy.
A Maid, expiring in her Bloom,
A worth unequalled in the Tomb.
Torn from the tenderest Lover’s Breast,
I thought, e’en Hearts of Ice or Snow
Had warmed, to sympathetic glow;
But they, O Heaven! were London’s Jest!
I then began, with shame,
Then first, to fear the Bard might be to blame.

In that for full Eclaircissement
On Blood and Wounds to work I went.
A War an Indian War God knows
Is no such easy Thing to write
But (Food by Day Repose by Night
Neglected) it received a Close.
But the first Friend I met
Condemn’d it kindly to the Cabinet:

From Rhyme twas always vastly hard
By counsil to reclaim a Bard.
Th’ atrocious Theme (said Pride) tho new,
Revolts the Soul … those spouting veins,
Those roasted Reeds and scattered Brains
(Not the Bards Dulness) make Men spew.
I next gave a Repast,
Which none digested, very few woud taste
Ye Gods, ye Gods, what Fate is mine!
Why Burke gains Glory from the nine
And must I judge in the same Class
With Paisly, Davis, Randolph, Grymes,
And Exposed to Laughter for my Rhymes,
And, tho no Knave, confirmed an Ass!
Thanks to my worthy Friend;
Here ends my Poem, here my Follies end.

From: http://www.poetrynook.com/poem/occlusion

Date: 1768

By: Robert Bolling (1738-1775)

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