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On me attends a raw unskilful lad, On fragments fed, in homely garments clad, At once my carver, and my Ganymede: With diligence he'll serve us while we dine, And in plain beechen vessels fill our wine. No beauteous boys I keep, from Phrygia brought, No catamites, by shameful pandars taught: Only to me two home-bred youths belong, Unskill'd in any but their mother-tongue; Alike in feature both, and garb, appear, With honest faces, though with uncurl’d hair. This day thou shalt my rural pages see, For I have drest them both to wait on thee. Of country swains they both were born, and one My ploughman's is, t'other my shepherd's son; A cheerful sweetness in his look he has, And innocence unartful in his face: Though sometimes sadness will o'ercast the joy, And gentle sighs break from the tender boy; His absence from his mother oft he'll mourn, And with his eyes look wishes to return; Longiug to see his tender kids again, And feed his lambs upon the flowery plain. A modest blush he wears, not form'd by art, Free from deceit his face, and full as free his heart. Such looks, such bashfulness, might well adorn The cheeks of youths that are more nobly born; But noblemen those humble graces scorn. This youth to day shall my small treat attend, And only he with wine shall serve my friend, . With wine from his own country brought, and made From the same vines, beneath whose fruitful shade He and his wanton kids have often play’d. But you, perhaps, expect a modish feast, With amorous songs and wanton dances grac'd; When sprightly females, to the middle bare, Trip lightly o'er the ground, and frisk in air; Whose pliant limbs in various postures move, And twine and bound as in the rage of love. Such sights the languid nerves to action stir, And jaded lust springs forward with this spur. Virtue would shrink to hear this lewdness told, Which husbands now do with their wives behold ; A needful help, to make them both Approve The dry embraces of long-wedded love. In nuptial cinders this revives the fire, And turns their mutual loathing to desire. But she, who by her sex’s charter must Have double pleasure paid, feels double last; Apace she warms with an in moderate heat, Strongly her bosom heaves, and rulses beat ; With glowing cheeks and trembling lips she lies, With arms expanded, and with oaked thighs, Sucking in passio: both at ears and eyes. But this becomes not one, nor iny estate; "I hes, are the vicious follies of the great. Let him, who do son ivory tables dine, Whose marble floors with drunken spawlings shine; Tet him lascivious songs and dances have, Which, or to see, or hear, the lewdest slave, The vilest prostitute in all the stews, With bashful indigmation would refuse. But fortune, there, extenuates the crime; what's vice in ine, is only mirth in him: The fruits which murder, cards, or dice, afford, A vesta! ravish'd, or a matron whorld, Are tauqable diversions in a lord. But my poo? entertainment is design'd To afford you pleasures of audther kwad;
Yet with your taste your hearing shall be fed,
And Homer's sacred lines and Virgil's read;
Either of whom does all mankind excel,
Though which exceeds the other none can tell.
It matters not with what ill tone they're sung;
Verse so sublimely good no voice can wrong.
Now, then, be all thy weighty cares away,
Thy jealousies and fears; and, while you may,
To peace and soft repose give all the day.
From thoughts of debt, or any worldly ill,
Be free; be all uneasy passion still.
What though thy wife do with the morning light
(When thou in vain hast toil'd and drudg’d all night)
Steal from thy bed and house abroad to roam,
And, having quench'd her flame, come breathless
Fleck'd in her face, and with disorder'd hair,
Her garments ruffled, and her bosom bare;
With ears still tingling, and her eyes on fire,
Half drown'd in sin, still burning in desire:
Whilst you are forc'd to wink, and seem content,
Swelling with passion, which you dare not vent;
Nay, if you would be free from night-alarms,
You must seem fond, and, doating on her charms,
Take her (the last of twenty) to your arms.
Let this, and every other anxious thought,
At th' entrance of my threshold be forgot;
All thy domestic griefs at home be left,
The wife's adultery, with the servant's theft;
And (the most racking thought which can intrude)
Forget false friends, and their ingratitude.
Let us our peaceful mirth at home begin,
While Megalensian shows are in the Circus seen;
There (to the bane of horses) in high state
The pretor sits on a triumphal seat;
Vainly with ensigns and with robes adorm’d, .
As if with conquest from the wars return'd.
This day all Rome (if I may be allow'd,
Without offence to such a numerous crowd,
To say all Rome) will in the Circus sweat;
Echoes already do their shouts repeat:
Methinks I hear the cry—“Away, away,
The green have won the honour of the day !”
Oh, should these sports be but one year forborne,
Rome would in tears her lov’d diversion mourn;
For that would now a cause of sorrow yield,
Great as the loss of Canna's fatal sield.
Such shows as these were not for us design'd,
But vigorous youth to active sports inclin'd.
On beds of roses laid, let us repose, -
While round our heads refreshing ointment flows;
Our aged limbs we'll bask in Phoebus' rays,
And live this day devoted to our ease.
Early to day we'll to the bath repair,
Nor need we now the common censure fear;
On festivals it is allow'd no crime
To bathe and eat before the usual time;
But, that continued, would a loathing give,
Nor could you thus a week together live:
For frequent use would the delight exclude;
Pleasure's a toil when constantly pursued.
PROLOGUE TO 2UEEN MARY, Upon her MAJ ssTY's coming to see the old BachrLost, AFTER HAVING SEEN THE Double Deal ER.
By this repeated act of grace, we see Wit is again the care of unajesty;
And while thus honour'd our proud stage appears,
We seem to rival ancient theatres.
Thus flourish'd wit in our forefathers' age,
And thus the Roman and Athenian stage.
Whose wit is best, we'll not presume to tell;
But this we know, our audience will excel:
For never was in Rome, nor Athens, seen
So fair a circle, and so bright a queen.
Long has the Muses' land been overcast, And many rough and stormy winters past; Hid from the world, and thrown in shades of night, Of heat depriv'd, and almost void of light: While Wit, a hardy plant, of nature bold, Has struggled strongly with the killing cold: So does it still through opposition grow, As if its root was warmer kept by snow: Bu “when shot forth, then diaws the danger near, On every side the gathering winds appear, And blasts destroy that fruit, which frosts would
But now, new vigour and new life it knows,
And warmth, that from this royal presence flows.
O would she shine with rays more frequent here!
How gay would then this drooping land appear!
Then, like the Sun, with pleasure she might view
The smiling Earth, cloth'd by her beams anew.
O'er all the meads should various flowers be seen
Mix'd with the laurel's never-fading green,
The new creation of a gracious queen.
Whatevra future fate our house may find,
At present we expect you should be kind;
Inconstancy itself can claim no right,
Before enjoyment and the wedding-night.
You must be fix’d a little ere you range,
You must be true till you have time to change,
A week, at least; one night is sure too soon :
But we pretend not to a honey-moon.
To novelty, we know, you can be true,
But what, alas! or who, is always new
This day, without presumption, we pretend
With novelty entire you're entertain'd ;
For not alone our house and scenes are new,
Our song and dance, but ev'n our actors too.
Our play itself has something in't uncolnmon,
Two faithful lovers, and one constant woman.
In sweet Italian strains our shepherds sing,
Of harmless loves our painted forests ring,
In notes, perhaps, less foreign than the thing.
To sound and show, at first, we make pretence,
In time, we may regale you with some sense,
But that, at present, were too great expense.
We only fear the beaux may think it hard,
To be to night from smutty jests debarr'd :
But, in good-breeding, sure they’ll once excuse
Fv'm modesty, when in a stranger-muse.
The day's at hand when we shall shift the scene,
And to yourselves show your dear selves again;
Paint the reverse of what you've seen to day,
And in bold strokes the vicious town display.
PROLOGITE to PYRRHUs, KING of EPIRUS)
Oun age has much improv'd the warrior's art;
For sighting, now, is thought the weakest part;
And a good head, more useful than a heart.
This way of war does our example yield;
That stage will win, which longest keeps the field.
We mean not battle, when we bid defiance;
But starving one another to compliance.
Our troops, encamp'd, are by each other view'd :
And those which first are hungry, are subdued,
And there, in truth, depends the great decision:
They conquer, who cut off the fors' provision.
Let fools with knocks and bruises keep a pother,
Our war and trade is to out-wit each other.
But, hold: will not the politicians tell us,
That both our conduct and our foresight fail us;
To raise recruits, and draw new forces down;
Thus, in the dead vacation of the town,
To muster up our rhymes, without our reason,
And forage for an audience out of season 2
Our author's fears inust this false step excuse;
'Tis the first flight of a just-feather'd Muse:
Th’ occasion ta'en, when critics are away,
Half wits and beaux, those ravenous birds of prey.
But, Heaven be prais'd, far hence they vent their
Mauling, in mild lampoon, th' intriguing Bath.
Thus does our author his first flight commence;
Thus, against friends at first, with foils we fence :
Thus prudent Gimcrack try'd if he were able
(Ere he'd wet foot) to swim upon a table.
Then spare the youth; or, if you'll damn the
Let him but first have his, then take your day.
You see we try all shapes, and shifts, and arts,
To tempt your favours, and regain your hearts.
We weep, we laugh, join mirth and grief together,
Like rain and sunshine mix’d in April weather.
Your different tastes divide our poet's cares:
One foot the sock, t'other the buskin wears:
Thus, while he strives to please, he's forc'd to do't,
Like Volscius, hip-hop, in a single boot.
Critics, he knows, for this clay damn his books:
But he makes feasts for friends, and not for cooks.
Though errant-knights of late no favour find,
Sure you will be to ladics-errant kind.
To follow fame, knights-errant make profession:
We damsels fly, to save our reputation:
So they their valour show ; we, our discretion.
To lands of monsters and fierce beasts they go :
We to those islands where rich husbands grow :
Though they’re no monsters, we may make them so.
If they’re of English growth, they’ll bear’t with
But save us from a spouse of Oroonoko's nations!
Then bless your stars, you happy London wives,
Who love at large, each day, yet keep your lives:
Nor envy poor Imoinda's doating blindness,
Who thought her husband kill'd her out of kind-
Death with a husband ne'er had shown such charms,
Had she once died within a lover's arms.
Her errour was from ignorance proceeding:
Poor soul: she wanted some of our town-breeding!
Forgive this Indian's fondness of her spouse;
Their law no Christian liberty allows:
Alas ! they make a conscience of their vows t
If virtue in a Heathen be a fault,
Then damn the heathen school where she was
she might have learn'd to cuckold, jilt, and sham,
Had Covent-Garden been in Suriuam.
PROLOGGUE TO THE HUSBAND HIS OWN CUCKOLD,
A comedy, warrre N by MR. J. DRY DEN, JUN.
This year has been remarkable two ways,
For blooming poets, and for blasted plays:
We've been by much appearing plenty mock'd,
At once both tantaliz’d and over-stock'd.
Our authors, too, by their success of late,
Begin to think third-days are out of date.
What can the cause be, that our plays won't keep,
Unless they have a rot some years, like sheep?
For our parts, we confess, we're quite ashain'd,
To read such weekly bills of poets damn'd.
Each parish knows 'tis but a mournful case
when christenings fall, and funerals increase.
Thus 'tis, and thus 'twill be, when we are dead,
There will be writers which will ne'er be read.
why will you be such wits, and write such things
You're willing to be wasps, but want the stings.
Let not your spleen provoke you to that hight;
'Odslife you don't know what you do, sirs, when
You'll find that Pegasus has tricks, when try'd,
Though you make nothing on't, but up and ride:
Ladies and all, i'faith, now get astride.
Contriving characters, and scenes, and plots,
Is grown as common now, as knitting knots:
With the same ease, and negligence of thought,
The charming play is writ, and fringe is wrought.
Though this befrightful, yet we’re more afraid,
When ladies leave, that beaux will take the trade:
Thus far 'tis well enough, if here 'twould stop,
But should they write, we must c’en shut up shop.
How shall we make this mode of writing sink?
A mode, said I ? 'tis a disease, I think,
A stubborn tetter, that's not cur'd with ink.
For still it spreads, till each th' infection takes,
And seizes ten, for one that it forsakes.
Our play to day is sprung from none of these ;
Nor should you damn it, though it does not please,
Since born without the bounds of your four seas.
For if you grant no favour as 'tis new,
Yet, as a stranger, there is something due :
From Rome (to try its fate) this play was sent;
Start not at Rome' for there’s no popery meant:
Though there the poet may his dwelling choose,
Yet still he knows his country claims his Muse.
Hither an offering his first-born he sends,
Whose good or ill success on you depends.
Yet he has hope some kindness may be shown,
As due to greater merit than his own,
And begs the sire may for the son atone.
There's his last refuge, if the play don't take, Yet spare young Dryden for his father's sake.
PROLOGUE TO AVERY GOOD WIFE,
Hear's a young fellow here—an actor—Powell–
One whose person, perhaps, you all may know well;
And he has writ a play—this very play
Which you are all come here to see, to day;
And so, being an usual thing to speak
Something or other for the author's sake,
Before the play, (in hopes to make it take)
I'm come, being his friend and fellow-player,
To say what (if you please) you're like to hear.
First know, that favour which I'd fain have shown,
I ask not for, in his name, but my own; -
For, without vanity, I'm better known.
Mean time, then, let me beg you would forbear
Your cat-calls, and the instruments of war.
For mercy, mercy, at your feet we fall,
Before your roaring gods destroy us all !
I'll speak with words sweet as distilling honey,
With words—as if I meant to borrow money;
Fair, gentle sirs, most soft alluring beaux,
Think 'tis a lady, that for pity sues.
Bright ladies—but to gain the ladies grace,
I think I need mo more than show my face.
Next then, you authors, be not you severe;
Why, what a swarm of scribblers have we here !
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, mine,
All in one row, and brothers of the pen. [ten,
All would be poets; well, your favour's due
To this day's author, for he's one of you.
Among the few which are of noted fame,
I'm safe; for I myself am one of them.
You've seen me smoke at Will's among the wits;
I'm witty too, as they are—that's by fits.
Now, you, our city friends, who hither come
By three o'clock, to make sure elbow-room:
While spouse, tuckt up, does in her pattens trudge
it, With handkerchief of prog, like troll with budget, And here, by turns, you eat plumb-cake and judge
it: Pray, be you kind, let me your grace importune, Or else—egad, I'll tell you all your fortune. Well, now, I have but one thing more to say, And that's in reference to our third day; An odd request—may be you'll think it so; Pray come, whether you like the play or no: And if you'll stay, we shall be glad to see you, If not—leave your half-crowns, and peace be wi'
you ! - t
ProLogue to THE court, oN The queen's birth-DAY, 1701.
The happy Muse, to this high scene preferré, Hereafter shall in loftier strains be heard;
And, soaring to transcend her usual theme,
Shall sing of virtue and heroic fame. -
No longer shall she toil upon the stage,
And fruitless war with Vice and Folly wage;
No more in mean disguise she shall appear,
And shapes she would reform be forc’d to wear:
While Ignorance and Malice join to blame,
And break the mirrour that redects their shame.
Henceforth she shall pursue a nobler task,
Show her bright virgin face, and scorn the Satyr's
Happy her future days' which are design'd
Alone to paint the beauties of the mind:
By just originals to draw with care,
And copy from the court a faultless fair:
Such labours with success her hopes may crown,
And shame to manners an incorrigible town.
While this design her eager thought pursues,
Such various virtues all around she views,
She knows not where to six, or which to choose.
Yet still ambitious of the daring flight,
ONE only awes her with superior light. -
From that attempt the conscious Muse retires,
Nor to inimitable worth aspires;
But secretly applauds, and silently admires.
Hence she reflects upon the genial ray
That first enliven'd this auspicious day:
On that bright star, to whose indulgent power
We owe the blessings of the present hour.
Concurring omens of propitious Fate
Bore, with one sacred birth, an equal date;
Whence we derive whatever we possess,
By foreign conquest, or domestic peace.
Then, Britain, then, thy dawn of bliss begun ;
Then broke the morn that lighted up this sun'
Then was it doom'd whose councils should succeed,
And by whose arm the christian world be freed;
Then the fierce foe was pre-ordain'd to yield,
And then the battle won at Blenheim's glorious
Who had a heart so hard, that heard her cries
And did not weep who such relentless eyes?
Tigers and wolves their wonted rage forego,
And dumb distress, and new compassion show; .
As taught by her to taste of human woe.
Nature herself attentive silence kept,
And motions seem'd suspended while she wept ;
The rising Sun restrain'd his fiery course,
And rapid livers listen’d at their source;
Ev’n Echo fear'd to catch the flying sound,
Lest repetition should her accents drown;
The very morning wind, withheld his breeze,
Norfann'd with fragrant wings the noiseless trees;
As if the gentle Zephyr had been dead,
And in the grave with loved Amyntas laid.
No noise, no whispering sigh, no murmuring groan,
Presum'd to mingle with a mother's moan;
Her cries alone her anguish could express,
All other mourning would have made it less.
“Hear me,” she cried, “ye nymphs and sylvan
Hear my distress, and lend a pitying ear,
Hear my complaint—you would not hear my
The loss which you prevented not, deplore,
And mourn with me Amyntas, now no more.
“ Have I not cause, ye cruel powers, to mourn?
Lives there like me another wretch forlorn ?
Tell me, thou Sun, that round the world doth shine,
Hast thou beheld another loss like mine *
Ye.winds, who on your wings sad accents bear,
And catch the sounds of sorrow and despair,
Tell me if eer your tender pinions bore
Such weight of woe, such deadly sighs, before ?
Tell me, thou Earth, on whose wide spreading base
Dost thou not fool thyself with me opprest!
Lie all the dead so heavy on thy breast?
When hoary Winter on thy shrinking head
His icy, cold, depressing hand has laid,
Hast thou not felt less chillness in thy veins?
I not pierce thee with more freezing pains?
ut why to thee do I relate my woe,
Thou cruel Earth, my most remorseless foe,
Within whose darksome womb the grave is made,
Where all Iny joys are with Amyntas laid 2
What is't to une, though on thy naked head
Eternal Winter should his horrour shed,
Though all thy nerves are numb'd with endless
And all thy hopes of future spring were lost?
To me what consort can the spring afford'
Can my Amyntas be with spring restor'd?
Can all the rains that fall from weeping skies,
Unlock the tolub where my Amyntas lics?
No, never! never!—Say then, rigid Earth,
What is to me thy everlasting dearth?
Though never flower again its head should rear,
"Though never tree again should blossom bear,
Though never grass should clothe the naked ground,
Nor ever healing plant or wholesome herb be found.
None,'none were found when I bewail'd their want;
Nor wholesome herb was found, nor healing plant,
To ease Amyntas of his cruel pains;
In vain I search'd the valleys, hills and plains;
But wither'd leaves alone appear'd to view,
Or poisonous weeds distilling deadly dew.
And if some naked stalk, not quite decay'd,
To yield a fresh and friendly bud essay’d,
Soon as I reach'd to crop the tender shoot,
A shrieking mandrake kill d it at the root.
Witness to this, ye fawns of every wood,
Who at the prodigy astonish'd stood.
Well I remember what sad signs ye made,
What show, rs of unavailing tears ye shed;
How each ran farful to his mossy cave,
When the last gas, the dear Amyntas gave.
For then the air was fill'd with dreadful cries,
And sudden night o'erspread the darken'd skies;
Phantoms, and fiends, and wandering fires ap-
And screams of ill-presaging birds were heard.
The forest shook, and flinty rocks were cleft,
And frighted streams their wonted channels left;
With frantic grief o'erflowing fruitful ground,
Where many a herd and harmless swain was
While I forlorn and desolate was left,
Of every help, of every hope bereft;
To every element expos'd I lay,
And to my griefs a more defenceless prey.
For thee, Amyntas, all these pains were borne,
For thee these hands were wrung, these hairs were
For thee my soul to sigh shall never leave,
These eyes to weep, this throbbing heart to heave.
To mourn thy fall, I'll fly the hated light,
And hide my head in shades of endless night:
For thou wert light, and life, and health, to me;
The Sun but thankless shines that shows not thee.
Wert thou not lovely, graceful, good, and young?
The joy of sight, the talk of every tongue?
Did ever branch so sweet a blossom bear 2
Or ever early fruit appear so fair?
Did ever youth so far his years transcend?
Did ever life so immaturely end ?
For thee the tuneful swains provided lays,
And every Muse prepar'd thy future praise.
For thee the busy nymph stripp'd every grove,
And myrtle wreaths and flowery chaplets wove.
But now, ah dismal change the tuneful throng
To loud lamentings turn the cheerful song.
Their pleasing task the weeping virgins leave,
And with unfinish’d garlands strew thy grave.
There let me fall, there, there lamenting lie,
There grieving grow to earth, despair, and die.”
This said, her loud complaint of force she ceas'd,
Fxcess of grief her faultering speech suppress'd.
Along the ground her colder limbs she laid,
Where late the grave was for Amyntas made;
Then from her swimming eyes began to pour
Of softly-falling rain a silver shower;
Her loosely-flowing hair, all radiant bright,
O'erspread the dewy grass like streams of light:
As if the Sun had of his beams been shorn,
And cast to Earth the glories he had worn.
A sight so lovely sad, such deep distress
No tongue can tell, no pencil can express.
And now the winds, which had so long been still,
Began the sweiling air with sighs to sil:
The water-nymphs, who motionless remain'd,
Like innages of ice, while she complain'd,
Now loos'd their streams; as when descending
Roll the steep torrents headlong o'er the plains.
The prone creation, who so long had gaz'd,
Charm'd with her cries, and at her griefs amaz'd,
Began to roar and howl with horrid yell,
Dismal to hear, and terrible to tell;
Nothing but groans and sighs were heard around,
And Echo multiplied each mournful sound.
When all at once an universal pause
Of grief was made, as from some secret cause.
The balmy air with fragrant scents was fill'd, .
As if each weeping tree had gums distill’d.
Such, if not sweeter, was the rich perfume
Which swift ascended from Amyntas' tomb :
As if th’ Arabian bird her nest had fir’d,
And on the spicy pile were now expir'd.
And now the turf, which late was naked seen,
Was sudden spread with lively-springing green;
And Amaryllis saw, with wondering eyes,
A flowery bed, where she had wept, arise;
Thick as the pearly drops the fair had shed,
The blowing buds advanc'd their purple head;
From every tear that foll a violet grew,
And thence their sweetness came, and thence their
Remember this,' ye nymphs and gentle maids,
When solitude ye seek in gloomy shades; -
Or walk on banks where silent waters flow,
For there this lovely flower will love to grow.
Think on Amyntasoft as yeshall stoop
To crop the stalks, and take them softly up.
When in your snowy necks their sweets you wear,
Give a soft sigh, and drop a tender tear:
To lov'd Amyntas pay the tribute due,
And bless his peaceful grave, where first they grew
Why are those hours, which Heaven in pity lent
To longing love, in fruitless sorrow spent?
Why sighs my fair? why does that bosom move
With any passion stirr'd, but rising love?
Can Discontent find place within that breast,
On whose soft pillows ev'n Despair might rest *
Divide thy woes, and give me my sad part;
I am no stranger to an aching heart;
Too well I know the force of inward grief,
And well can bear it to give you relief: o
All love's severest pangs I can endure:
I can bear pain, though hopeless of a cure.
I know what 'tis to weep, and sigh, and pray,
To wake all night, yet dread the breaking day;
I know what 'tis to wish, and hope, and all in vain,
And meet, for humble love, unkind disdain:
Anger and hate I have been forc'd to bear,
Nay, jealousy—and I have felt despair.
These pains for you I have been forc'd to prove,
For cruel you, when I began to love.
Till warm compassion took at length my part,
And melted to my wish your yielding heart.
O the dear hour in which you did resign
When round my neck vour willing arms did twine,
And, in a kiss, you said your heart was mine. .
Through each returning year may that hour be
Distinguish'd in the rounds of all eternity;
Gay be the Sun that hour in all his light,
Let him collect the day to be more bright,
Shine all that hour, and let the rest be night.
And shall I all this Heaven of bliss receive
"From you, yet not lament to see you grieval U