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TO A TRAGEDY CALLED TAMERLANE.
[By Mr. SAUNDERS.]
LADIES, the beardless author of this day
Commends to you the fortune of his play. A woman wit has often grac'd the stage; But he's the firft boy-poet of our age. Early as is the year his fancies blow, Like young Narciffus peeping through the fnow. Thus Cowley bloffom'd foon, yet flourish'd long; This is as forward, and may prove as ftrong. Youth with the fair fhould always favour find, Or we are damn'd diffemblers of our kind. What's all this love they put into our parts? "Tis but the pit-a-pat of two young hearts. Should hag and grey-beard make fuch tender moan, Faith, you'd ev'n trust them to themselves alone, And cry, Let's go, here's nothing to be done. Since Love's our bufinefs, as 'tis your delight, The young, who beft can practise, best can write. What though he be not come to his full power, He's mending and improving every hour. You fly fhe-jockies of the box and pit, Are pleas'd to find a hot unbroken wit: By management he may in time be made, But there's no hopes of an old batter'd jade; Faint and unnerv'd he runs into a fweat, And always fails you at the second heat.
TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, 1681.
THE fam'd Italian Mufe, whose rhymes advance
Orlando, and the Paladins of France,
Records, that, when our wit and sense is flown,
"Tis lodg'd within the circle of the moon,
In earthen jars, which one, who thither foar'd,
Set to his nofe, fnuff'd up, and was reftor❜d.
Whate'er the story be, the moral's true;
The wit we loft in town, we find in
Our poets their fled parts may draw from hence,
And fill their windy heads with fober sense.
When London votes with Southwark's disagree,
Here may they find their long-loft loyalty.
Here bufy fenates, to th' old cause inclin'd,
May fnuff the votes their fellows left behind:
Your country neighbours, when their grain grows dear,
May come, and find their last provision here:
Whereas we cannot much lament our lofs,
Who neither carry'd back, nor brought one croís.
We look'd what reprefentatives would bring;
But they help'd us, juft as they did the king.
Yet we despair not; for we now lay forth
The Sibyls books to those who know their worth;
And though the first was facrific'd before,
These volumes doubly will the price reftore.
Our poet bade us hope this grace to find,
To whom by long prefcription you are kind.
He, whofe undaunted Mufe, with loyal rage,
Has never fpar'd the vices of the age,
Here finding nothing that his fpleen can raise,
Is forc'd to turn his fatire into praise.
TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, UPON HIS FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE DUKE'S THEATRE, AFTER HIS RETURN FROM SCOTLAND, 1682.
N those cold regions which no fummers chear,
Where brooding darkness covers half the year,
To hollow caves the shivering natives go;
Bears range abroad, and hunt in tracks of fnow.
But when the tedious twilight wears away,
And ftars grow paler at th' approach of day,
The longing crowds to frozen mountains run;
Happy who first can see the glimmering fun :
The furly favage offspring difappear,
And curfe the bright fucceffor of the year.
Yet, though rough bears in covert seek defence,
White foxes stay, with feeming innocence:
That crafty kind with day-light can dispense.
Still we are throng'd fo full with Reynard's race,
That loyal fubjects scarce can find a place:
Thus modeft truth is caft behind the crowd:
Truth speaks too low; hypocrify too loud.
Let them be firft to flatter in fuccefs;
Duty can stay, but guilt has need to prefs;
Once, when true zeal the fons of God did call,
To make their folemn fhew at Heaven's Whitehall,
The fawning devil appear'd among the reft
And made as good a courtier as the best.
The friends of Job, who rail'd at him before,
Came cap in hand when he had three times more.
Yet late repentance may, perhaps, be true;
Kings can forgive, if rebels can but fue:
A tyrant's power in rigour is expreft;
The father yearns in the true prince's breast.
We grant, an o'ergrown Whig no grace can mend;
But most are babes, that know not they offend.
The crowd, to restless motion ftill inclin'd,
Are clouds, that tack according to the wind.
Driven by their chiefs they ftorms of hailstones pour ;
Then mourn, and foften to a filent shower.
O welcome to this much-offending land,
The prince that brings forgiveness in his hand!
Thus angels on glad meffages appear:
Their firft falute commands us not to fear:
Thus heaven, that could constrain us to obey,
(With reverence if we might prefume to fay)
Seems to relax the rights of fovereign fway:
Permits to man the choice of good and ill,
And makes us happy by our own free-will.
PROLOGUE TO THE EARL OF ESSEX.
[By Mr. J. BANKS, 1682.]
SPOKEN TO THE KING AND QUEEN AT THEIR COMING TO THE HOUSE.
WHEN firft the ark was landed on the shore,
And heaven had vow'd to curfe the ground no
When tops of hills the longing patriarch saw,
And the new scene of earth began to draw;
The dove was fent to view the waves decrease,
And first brought back to man the pledge of peace,
Tis needlefs to apply, when thofe appear,
Who bring the olive, and who plant it here.
We have before our eyes the royal dove,
Still innocent as harbinger of love:
The ark is open'd to difmifs the train,
And people with a better race the plain.
Tell me, ye powers, why fhould vain man pursue,
With endless toil, each object that is new,
And for the seeming substance leave the true?
Why fhould he quit for hopes his certain good,
And loath the manna of his daily food?
Muft England ftill the fcene of changes be,
Toft and tempestuous, like our ambient sea?
Muft still our weather and our wills agree?
Without our blood our liberties we have:
Who that is free would fight to be a flave?