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PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES.
A PROLOGUE TO LOVE AND FAME. SPOKE AT SCARBOROUGH.
[Entering. Where is this author?—Bid the wretch appear, Let him come in, and wait for judgment—here. Tliis awful jury, all impatient, wait;Let him come in, I say, and meet his fate!Strange, very strange, if such a piece succeeds!(Punish the culprit for his vile misdeeds) Know ye to night, that his presumptuous works Have turn'd good Christians into—Heathen Turks?And if the genius an't corrected soon, In his next trip, he Ml mount us to the Moon.
Methinks I hear him say—" For mercy's sake Hold your rash tongue—my love and fame's at stake;When you behold me—diffident—distrest!Tis cruelty to make my woes a jest:Well—if you will—but why should I distrust? My judges are as merciful as just;I know them well, have oft their friendship try'd, And their protection is my boast—my pride."
Hoping to please, he form'il 'his bustling plan; Hoping to please! 'tis all the moderns can: Faith! let him 'scape, let Love and Fame survive, With your kind sanction keep his scenes alive; Try to approve (applaud we will exempt) Nor crush the bardling in this hard attempt. Could he write up to an illustrious theme, There's mark'd upon the register of Fame A subject—but beyond the warmest lays! Wonder must paint, when 'tis a G—nby's praise.
A PROLOGUE TO RULE A WIFE.
Tis an odd portrait that the poet drew!
Should we the portrait with the sex compare,
Rude were the rules our fathers form'd of old, Nor should such antiquated maxims hold; Shall subject man assert superior sway, And dare to bid the angel sex obey? Or if permitted to partake the throne, Despotic, call the reins of power his own? Forbid it, all that's gracious—that's polite! (The fair to liberty have equal right) Nor urge the tenet, though from Fletcher's school, That every husband has a right to rule.
A matrimonial medium may be hit, Where neither governs, but where both submit.
The nuptial torch with decent brightness burns, Where male and female condescend by turns; Change then the phrase, the horrid text amend, And let the word obey, be condescend.
ON REVIVING THE MERCHANT OP VENICE, AT THE TIM* THE BILL HAD PASSED FOR NATURALIZING THE JEWS.
Twixt the sons of the stage, without pensions or places, And the vagabond Jews, are some similar cases;Since time out of mind, or they 're wrong'd much by slander, Both lawless, alike, have been sentene'd to wander; Then faith'tis full time we appeal to the nation, To be join'd in this bill for na-tu-ra-li-za-ti-on;Lard, that word's so uncouth !—'tis so irksome to speak it! [take it.
But 'tis Hebrew, I believe, and that 's taste, as I Well—now to the point—I'm sent herewith commission,
To present this fair circle our humble petition:But, conscious what hopes we should have of succeeding, Without (as they phrase it) sufficiently bleeding; And convine'd we 've no funds, nor old gold we can rake up, Like our good fathers—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;We must frankly confess we have nought to present ye,
But Shakspeare's old sterling—pray let it content ye. This Shylock, the Jew, whom we mean to restore ye, Was naturaliz'd oft by your fathers before ye;
Then take him to night to your kindest compassion,
For to countenance Jews is the pink of the fashion.
FOR SOME COUNTRY LADS, PERFORMING THE DEVIL OF A
In days of yore, when round the jovial board,
From ev'ry side—from Troy — from ancient Princes pour in to swell the motley piece; [Greece, And while their deeds of prowess they rehearse, The flowing bowl rewards their hobbling verse.
Intent to raise this evening's cordial mirth, Like theirs, our simple stage-play comes to birth. Our want of art we candidly confess, But give you Nature in her homespun dress; No heroes here—no martial men of might! A collier is the champion of to night; His strap, more fam'd than George's lance of old, For it can tame that dragoness, a scold: Indulgent, then, support the cobler's cause, And though he may n't deserve it, smile applause.
If to correct the follies of mankind,
Does not the poet, that exists by praise,
Before such judges, we confess with dread, These new dominions we presume to tread;Yet if you smile, we 'II boldly do our best, And leave your favours to supply the rest.
On widows—orphans—left, alas! forlorn,
AN ELEGIAC ODE
Pallida mos a>quo pulsat pede pauperum tabcrnas,
England! thy Genius, vested like Despair, With loud distress alarms the chalky shore: "' Britons !" he cries, and rends his hoary hair,"Britons! your much-lov'd monarch is no more!" The sea-gods from their pearl-embroiderM beds,
Who to great George the green dominion gave, No longer lift their coral-crowned heads,
But dive distress'd beneath the trembling wave. Hark, how the winds, erst bounteous to his will.
That bore his thund'ring fleets to Gallia's shore, Pause,—for a while, pathetically still, Then let their sorrows burst in pealy roar.
The nymphs that in the sacred groves preside, Where Britain's conqu'ring oaks eternal spring.
In their embrown'd retreats their sorrows hide, And silent mourn the venerable king.
Tenants of liberty, on Britain's plain, With flocks enrich'd, a vast unnumber'd store!
Tis gone, the mighty George's golden reign;Your Pan, your great protector is no more!
The British swains, e'er whiles a blithsome thronr,
No more the shepherd tunes his cheerful song,
Beauty, no more the toy of fashion wears,
Religion, lodg'd high on her pious pile,
See the detestful owl, ill-omen'd, rise!
Dragg'd, by Despair, from her sequestr'd cell; And, by the discord of shrill shrieking cries,
Doubling the horrours of the deep-ton'd belL
The choral Muses droop! their harps unstrung, The lutes and laurel wreaths neglected fall!
Commerce—bestill'd her many-nation'd tongue, Whilom so busy in her bustling hall ■!
Behold the Virtues rang'd, a sorrowing band!
They mourn their Kinc with grief dejected era, See Art and sister Science, weeping stand!
For, ah! their patron, their defender dies;
On Conquest's cheek see how the roses fail!
Grief makes, alas! the fairest blossoms bow! And Honour's fire ethereal bums but pale,
That erst beam'd glorious on our George's brow.
The dreary paths of unrelenting Fate,
Must monarch?, mix'd with common mortals, try'
Is there no refuge for the good and great?
Must gilded courts be chang'd for Horroor's cave!
And scepter'd kings, who keep the world in awe, ConquerM by time, and the unpitying grave, Scarce sav'd their laurels from its rig'rous law!
Search where fell Carnage rag'd with rigour steetM, Where Slaughter, like the rapid lightning, ran;And say, when you 'vc bewept the blood-stain'd field, Which is the monarch r which the common man?
The Macedonian monarch', wise and good, Bade (when the morning's rosy reign began) Courtiers should call, as round his couch they stood, "Philip, remember thou 'rt no more than man.
* The hall of commerce, the Royal Exchange.
'Philip, king of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, appointed the pages of his chamber, to remind him every morning, that, notwithstaod
IMITATION OF HORACE.
"Though glory spread thy name from pole to pole, Though thou art merciful, and brave, and just,
Philip, reflect thou 'rt posting to the goal,
What then avails Amhition's wide-stretch'd wing!
So Saladin for arts and arms renown'd,
Returning, with imperial trinmphs crown'd,
And as he rode, high on his regal car,
Conspicuous o'er the trophies gain'd in war,
While thus the herald cry'd, "This son of Pow'r,
May, in the space of a revolving hour, Boast of no other spoil but yonder shroud."
Can the deep statesman, skill'd in great design,
Or the tun'd follower of the sacred Nine,
No! though the palace bar her golden gate,
Unerring, and unseen, the shaft of Fate
If in the tent retir'd, or battle's rage,
Britannia's sighs shall reach greatFred'rie's* ear; He 'II drop the sword, or shut the sophic page, And pensive pay the tributary tear.
Then shall the monarch weigh the moral thought,
The solemn truth, by sage Reflection taught,
Crowns, like the glow-worm's scarce distinguish'd light,
For a short moment glance their twinkling fires, Bnt there's a deathless wreath, divinely bright, Whose more than diamond lustre, ne'er expires.
Such is the starry meed that Virtue ty'd With her own hands on George's gracious brow;
Eternal shall its golden heams ahide, Though the bright Sun should from its orhit how.
Nor is the sacred gift to kings confin'd, The wretch, to fortune, friends, and fame unknown,
Shall, if sweet piety adorn his mind, Mount to the highest step of Glory's throne.
ing his glory and power, he was no more than a mere mortal man.
'Saladin, a famous eastern emperor, in his trinmphant return from the most remarkable conquests, had a shroud carried before him, while proclamation was made, That the victor, after all his glory, could lay real claim to nothing hut that wretched linen to wrap his hody in for the tomh.
* Frederic, king of Prussia.
The parent's face Apelles* prudent hides, While Death devours the darling of his age:
Then let the Muse her sablest curtain spread, By Sorrow taught her nerveless pow'r to know • When nations cry, their king, their parent's dead, The rest is dumh, unutterahle woe.
Mercy, co-partner of great George's throne, Through the emhrighted air ascendant flies,
But see a sacred radiance beams around!
That with returning hope a people cheers! Behold you youth, with grace imperial crown'd, How awful! yet how lovely in his tears!
Mark how his bosom heaves the filial sigh!
He droops distress'd like a fair frost-chill'd flower, Till Glory, from her radiant sphere on high, Hails him to hold the reins of regal Power.
CUNNINGHAMS POEMS.Should a thousand ills enclose yon.
Gold's the mighty source of pleasure!
"P-rav tell me," says Venus, one day to the Graces, [places) (O-n a visit they came, and had just ta'en their"L-et me know why of late I can ne'er see your faces: [ye:
L-adies, nothing, I hope, happen'd here to affright Y-ou've had compliment cards ev'ry day to invite ye."
S-ays Cupid, who guess'd their rehellious proceeding, [a-hreeding: "U-uderhand, dear mamma, there's some mischief T-here's a fair-one at Lincoln, sorinish'd a heauty, T-hat your loves and your graces all swerve from their duty." [thus put on,"O-n my life," says dame Venus, " I 'll not be N-ow I think on't, last night, some one call'd me Miss Sutton."
DEATH OF MR. H
This sudden stroke ('twas like the lightning's blast)
Think, Britons, think on all his triumphs past,
Blight, we are told, respects the conq'ror's tree,
Vague—and how vain must that assertion be,
-...A PETITION...ODES.From Zembla to the torrid zone,
ON THE DEATH OF ME. ■
Go, breath of Sorrow,—go attending sighs,
The man they lov'd, the man they honour'd, dies,
Where shall the poor a friendly patron find?
Who shall relieve them from their loads of pain? Say, has he left a feeling heart behind,
So gracious—good—so tenderly humane?
Yes—there survives his darling offspring—young,
Twas the last lesson from his parent's tongue,
TO THE WORSHIPFUL FREE MASONS, DELIVERED FROM THE
Brothers!—'tis bold to interrupt your meeting,
FOR IDE BIRTH DAY OF THE KINO OF PRUSSIA.
Arma, rirumque cano. Virg.
Mori glorious than the comet's blaze,
Be banish'd from the books of Fame,
Ye deeds in distant ages done;
Where restless Envy can't explore,
His rapid bolts tremendous break,
In vain, to shake the throne of Jove,
While Prudence guides his chariot wheels,
The vengeful lance Britannia wields,
In consort with her brave ally,
The jocund bowl let Britons raise,
And crown the jovial board with mirth;
COMPOSED FOR THE BIRTH-DAY OF THE LATE GENERAL
The Muses' harps, by Concord strung!
Loud let them strike the festal lay,
Behold his warlike banners wave!
Like Britain's oak the hero stands: