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Attend! Ye sisters of celestial birth!
Forsake your starry homes and post to earth
With laughter under each expanded Wing;
Of harmony and wit untwine the string.
Be near while I, than Hercules more strong,
Unloose the fettered hands of drooping song;
Retread the tract that Homer trod before
And spread the muses praise from shore to shore.
For, lo! the phrenzy of my soul constrains
On Fancy's sparkling neck to throw the reins
In numbers to imbalm a lofty theme
And pour, of various verse, the copious stream,
And (to cut short my tale) in Cantos two,
To sound the triumphs of heroic LOO.
Ye powers of heroic song descend
Each in his car of light, effectual aid to lend!
Your poet shall uplift the voice of praise
To time-destroying LOO, in time-surviving lays
For oft I stand amidst the sportive crew
That give to Loo their days, their nights to Loo
Oft, in my dreams, I watch the dealers hand
And throw down in despair, or bravely Stand


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I oft, approaching, view the nect'rous treat
And gather consolation from defeat.
At long depending rows, attentive gape,
Of various dyes and equi-sided shape,
Behold, with joy depicted in my face
Of trumps the royal pair, or knave or Ace;
At Sight of trumpless hand, proclaim a truce
Or scoul, with rolling eyes, on worthless duce
At ace succeeding ace astonished gaze
Or of collected spoils a trophy raise.
Or see around, the mighty ruin strewed
And, wait, in speechless terror to be looed

   Lo! to my sight the polished board appears
That, decently disposed, has borne for years,
Unstunned, the rage of combat, and between
Yet, stainless has escaped the topers spleen,
Has seen the labour'ing mind elude distress
At care-dispelling, thought-convoking chess
Has seen the foe his scattered forces bring
And meditate the fall of helpless king.
With high exploits to decorate the scene
Prepare, and lead in chains the captive queen,
(Her fall her friends lament, her foes deride
In striving to defend her lord she died)
Or spite of martial strength, in cautious spite,
Intangles in his net the active Knight,
Ah! naught, by numbers and by skill assailed,
The mitre'd brow or ample stride availed
To rescue from his fate the cloistered sage
Who dared in warlike combats to engage.
Or see the rook, from his asylum, drawn
To fight and fade before a powerless pawn.


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The polished board has viewed a different scene
A witness to amusing draughts has been
Has laughed to see dexterity enthrall
Brute force Thrones sink and ‸ crowns topple legions fall
Before him and the boaster cease to sound
His triumphs prosprate on th'ensanguined ground.
Has seen gigantic war whole armies crush
And nations to the dread encounter rush,
Seen Subjects “wade through slaughter to a throne"
And vanquish hosts unaided and alone.

   Here harmless whist has often found a field
Here Ombre and Quadrille their raptures yield
And meek Piquet to humble minds so dear
Has often exercised dominion here.
Here in the long illusive mazy dance
The voice is often heard of hood-winked chance
And many hope-seduced or urged by care,
To pitts of death she leads, and black despair.
And hear ‸ here each virtues foe, the nurse of vice,
Are heard the sounds of beggar-making dice.
And here sweet indolence her joys shall strew
And hasten to the fights of pleasing loo