The Poetry Corner

Macer: A Character.

By Alexander Pope

When simple Macer, now of high renown, First sought a poet's fortune in the town, 'Twas all the 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 ventured on the town, And with a borrow'd play, out-did poor Crowne. There he stopp'd short, nor since has writ 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 wondrous honest, though of mean degree, And strangely liked for her simplicity: In a translated suit, then tries the town, With borrow'd pins, and patches not her own: But just endured 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.