Imitation Of Horace

Poem By William King

Imitation of Horace his Invitation of Torquatus to Supper,
which is the 5th Epistle of his first Book

can his gen'rous Soul confine
To a small Room, few Dishes, and some Wine,
I shall expect my Happiness at Nine.
Two Bottles of smooth
, or
Shall give a Welcome, and prepare Delight.
Then for the
you may freely ask,
But the
is to each Man his Flask.
I tell you with what Force I keep the Field,
And if you can exceed it, speak, I'll yield.
The Snow-white Damask Ensigns are display'd,
And glitt'ring Salvers on the Side-board laid.
Thus we'll disperse all busie Thoughts and Cares,
The General's Counsels, and the Statesman's Fears:
Nor shall Sleep reign in that precedent Night,
Whose joyful Hours lead on the glorious Light,
Sacred to
Worth in

The Blessings of Good Fortune seem refus'd,
Unless sometimes with generous Freedom us'd.
'Tis Madness, not Frugality, prepares
A vast Excess of Wealth for squandring Heirs.
Must I of neither Wine, nor Mirth partake,
Lest the censorious World should call me Rake?
Who unacquainted with the gen'rous Wine,
E'er spoke bold Truths, or fram'd a great Design?
That makes us fancy ev'ry Face has Charms;
That gives us Courage, and then finds us Arms:
Sees Care disburthen'd, and each Tongue employ'd,
The Poor grown Rich, and ev'ry Wish enjoy'd.

This I'll perform, and promise you shall see,
A Cleanliness, from Affectation free:
No Noise, no Hurry, when the Meat's set on,
Or when the Dish is chang'd, the Servants gone:
For all things ready, nothing more to fetch,
What e'er you want is in the Master's Reach.
Then for the Company I'll see it chose,
Their Emblematick Signal is the Rose.
If you of
Raillery approve,
Of Cotton's Laugh, and
Tales of Love,
And Bellair's charming Voice may be allow'd,
What can you hope for better from a Crowd?
But I shall not prescribe, consult your Ease,
Write back your Men, and number as you please:
Try your Back-stairs, and let the Lobby wait,
A Stratagem in War is no Deceit.

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