On P--
P--lovèd me not as he lov'd his friends;
For he lov'd them for gain, to serve his ends:
He lovèd me, and for no gain at all,
But to rejoice and triumph in my fall.

On William Haines
The Sussex men are noted fools,
And weak is their brain pan --
I wonder if H--the painter
Is not a Sussex man.

On Fuseli
The only man that e'er I knew
Who did not make me almost spew
Was Fuseli: he was both Turk and Jew--
And so, dear Christian friends, how do you do?

To Hunt
`Madman' I have been call'd: `Fool' they call thee.
I wonder which they envy -- thee or me?

To Hunt
You think Fuseli is not a great painter. I'm glad.
This is one of the best compliments he ever had.

On certain Mystics
Cosway, Frazer, and Baldwin of Egypt's lake
Fear to associate with Blake.
This life is a warfare against evils;
They heal the sick: he casts out devils.

Hayley, Flaxman, and Stothard are also in doubt
Lest their virtue should be put to the rout.
One grins, t'other spits, and in corners hides,
And all the virtuous have shown their backsides.

--And his legs carried it like a long fork,
Reached all the way from Chichester to York,
From York all across Scotland to the sea;
This was a man of men, as seems to me.
Not only in his mouth his own soul lay,
But my soul also would he bear away.
Like as a pedlar bears his weary pack,
He would hear my soul buckled to his back.
But once, alas! committing a mistake,
He bore the wretched soul of William Blake
That he might turn it into eggs of gold;
But neither back nor mouth those eggs could hold.
His under jaw dropp'd as those eggs he laid,
And all my eggs are addled and decay'd.
The Examiner, whose very name is Hunt,
Call'd Death a madman, trembling for the affront;
Like trembling hare sits on his weakly paper
On which he used to dance and sport and caper.
Yorkshire Jack Hemp and Quibble, blushing daw,
Clapp'd Death into the corner of their jaw,
And Felpham Billy rode out every morn,
Horseback with Death, over the fields of corn;
Who with iron hand cuff'd, in the afternoon,
The ears of Billy's Lawyer and Dragoon.
And Cur my lawyer, and Daddy, Jack Hemp's parson,
Both went to law with Death to keep our ears on.
For how to starve Death we had laid a plot
Against his price--but Death was in the pot.
He made them pay his price, alackaday!
He knew both Law and Gospel better than they.
O that I ne'er had seen that William Blake,
Or could from Death Assassinette wake!
We thought -- Alas, that such a thought could be! --
That Blake would etch for him and draw for me.
For 'twas a kind of bargain Screwmuch made
That Blake's designs should be by us display'd,
Because he makes designs so very cheap.
Then Screwmuch at Blake's soul took a long leap.
'Twas not a mouse. 'Twas Death in a disguise.
And I, alas! live to weep out my eyes.
And Death sits laughing on their monuments
On which he's written `Receivèd the contents.'
But I have writ -- so sorrowful my thought is --
His epitaph; for my tears are aquafortis.
`Come, Artists, knock your head against this stone,
For sorrow that our friend Bob Screwmuch's gone.'
And now the Muses upon me smile and laugh
I'll also write my own dear epitaph,
And I'll be buried near a dyke
That my friends may weep as much as they like:
`Here lies Stewhard the Friend of all mankind;
He has not left one enemy behind.'

--For this is being a friend just in the nick,
Not when he's well, but waiting till he's sick;
He calls you to his help; be you not mov'd
Until, by being sick, his wants are prov'd.

You see him spend his soul in prophecy:
Do you believe it a confounded lie,
Till some bookseller, and the public fame,
Prove there is truth in his extravagant claim.

For 'tis atrocious in a friend you love
To tell you anything that he can't prove,
And 'tis most wicked in a Christian nation
For any man to pretend to inspiration.

Was I angry with Hayley who us'd me so ill
Or can I be angry with Felpham's old mill?
Or angry with Flaxman, or Cromek, or Stothard,
Or poor Schiavonetti, whom they to death bother'd?
Or angry with Macklin, or Boydell, or Bowyer,
Because they did not say `O what a beau ye are'?
At a friend's errors anger show,
Mirth at the errors of a foe.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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