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Farewell the stage ! if just as thrives the play,
There still remains, to mortify a wit,
Sinks the loft actor in the tawdry load. Booth eniers -hark! the universal peal! » But has he spoken«? Not a fyllable, » What shook the stage, and made the people stare! Cato's long wig , flow'r'd
and lacquer'd chair. Yet, left you think I rally more than teach , Or praise malignly arts I cannot reach, Let me for once presume t'instruct the times, To know the poet from the man of rhymes : 'Tis he , who gives my breast a thousand pains, Can make me feel each paffion that he feigns ; Inrage, compose , with more than magic art, With pity, and with terror, tear my heart, And snatch ine, o'er the earth, or thro' the air, To Thebes, to Athens, when he will, and where
But not this part of the poetic state, Alone, deserves the favour of the great : Think of those authors, Sir, who would rely More on a reader's sense , than gazer's eye. Or who shall wander where the Muses sing? Who climb their mountain, or who taste their spring? How shall we fill a library with wit, When Merlin's cave is half unfurnish'd yet ?
My liege! why writers little claim your thought, I guess ; and, with their leave, will tell the fault: We poets are ( upon a poet's word) Of all mankind, the creatures most absurd: The season, when to come, and when to go, Tu sing, or cease to sing , we never know; And if we will recite nine hours in ten, You lose your patience, just like other men.
Then too we hurt ourselves, when to defend
Yet think , great Sir! ( so many virtues shown)
Charles , to late times to be transmitted fair ,
Not with such majesty, such bold relief,
Your arms , your a&ions, your repose to sing !
you fought! Your country's peace, how oft , how dearly bought! How barb’rous rage subsided at your word, And nations wonder'd while they dropp'd the sword! How, w when
nodded, o'er the land and deep, Peace stole her wing , and wrapt the world in Neep; 'Till earth's extremes your meditation own, And Asia's tyrants tremble at your throne But verfe , álas! your Majesty disdains ; And I'm not us'd to panegyric strains : The zeal of fools offends at any time, But most of all, the zeal of fools in rhyme. Besides, a fate attends on all I write, That when I aim at praise, they say I bite. A vile encomium doubly ridicules : There's nothing blackens like the ink of fools. If true, a woful likeness; and if lyes, » Praise undeservd is scandal in disguise ce. Well may he blush, who gives it, or receives; And when I fatter, let my dirty leaves (Like journals, odes, and such forgotten things As Eusden , Philips , Settle, writ of kings) Cloath spice , line tranks, or flutt'ring in a row, Befringe the rails of Bedlam and Soho,