« AnteriorContinuar »
Yet bards like these aspir’d to lasting praise,
Then, crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as refind, For
years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd;
But who the coming changes can presage,
Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune plac'd,
* Hunt, a famous boxer on the stage ; Mahomet, a ropedancer, who had exhibited at Covent-Garden Theatre the winter before, said to be a Turk,
Ah! let not Censure term our fate our choice,
Then prompt no more the follies you decry,
P R O L O G U E. YE
E glitt'ring train, whom lace and velvet bless, Suspend the soft solicitudes of dress! From grov'ling bus’ness and superfluous care, Ye sons of Avarice, a moment spare! Vot’ries of Fame, and worshippers of Power, Dismiss the pleasing phantoins for an hour ! Our daring bard, with spirit unconfind, Spreads wide the mighty moral for mankind. Learn here how Heav'n supports the virtuous mind, Daring, though calm; and vig'rous, though resign'd. Learn here what anguish racks the guilty breast, In pow'r dependent, in success deprest. Learn here that Peace from Innocence must flow All else is empty sound and idle show.
If truths like these with pleasing language join ; Ennobled, yet unchang'd, if Nature shine; If no wild draught depart from Reason's rules, Nor gods his heroes, nor his lovers fools: Intriguing Wits! his artless plot forgive; And spare him, Beauties! though his lovers live.
Be this at least his praise, be this his pride; To force applause no modern arts are try’d. Should partial cat-calls all his hopes confound, He bids no trumpet quell the fatal sound. Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit, He rolls no thunders, o'er the drowsy pit. No snares to captivate the judgment spreads, Nor bribes your eyes to prejudice your heads. Unmoy'd though Witlings sneer and Rivals rail; Studious to please, yet not asham'd to fail. He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain, With merit needless, and without it vain. In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust : Ye Fops, be silent: and ye Wits, be just ! VOL. I.