« AnteriorContinua »
Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid;
And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
The transitory breath of fame below:
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While converts thank their poet in the skies.
THE GOOD-NATURED MAN,
Spoken by Mrs. Bulkley.
As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure;
Thus, on the stage, our play-rights still depend,
For epilogues and prologues on some friend,
Who knows each art of coaxing up the town,
And make full many a bitter pill go down.
Conscious of this, our bard has gone about,
And teaz'd each rhyming friend to help him out.
An epilogue, things can't go on without it;
It could not fail, would you but set about it.
Young man, cries one (a bard laid up in clover),
Alas! young man, my writing days are over;
Let boys play tricks, and kick the straw, not I;
Your brother doctor there, perhaps, may try.
What I! dear Sir, the doctor interposes;
What, plant my thistle, Sir, among his roses!
No, no, I've other contests to maintain;
To-night I head our troops at Warwick-lane.
Go ask your manager Who, me! Your pardon;
Those things are not our forte at Covent Garden.
Our author's friends, thus plac'd at happy distance,
Give him good words indeed, but no assistance.
As some unhappy wight at some new play,
At the pit door stands elbowing away;
While oft, with many a smile, and many a shrug,
He eyes the centre, where his friends sit snug;
His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes,
Sink as he sinks, and as he rises rise:
He nods, they nod; he cringes, they grimace;
But not a soul will budge to give him place.
Since then, unhelp'd, our bard must now conform
"To 'bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,”
Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critic the Good-natur'd Man.
PROLOGUE TO ZOBEIDE:
A TRAGEDY; WRITTEN BY JOSEPH CRADDOCK, ESQ.
Spoken by Mr. Quick, in the Character of a Sailor.
In these bold times, when Learning's sons explore
The distant climate, and the savage shore;
When wise astronomers to India steer,
And quit for Venus many a brighter here;
While botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling,
Forsake the fair, and patiently — go simpling;
Our bard into the general spirit enters,
And fits his little frigate for adventures.
With Scythian stores, and trinkets deeply laden,
He this way steers his course, in hopes of trading -
Yet ere he lands he's order'd me before,
To make an observation on the shore.
Where are we driven? our reckoning sure is lost!
This seems a rocky and a dangerous coast.
Lord, what a sultry climate am I under!
Yon ill-foreboding cloud seems big with thunder:
There mangroves spread, and larger than I've seen 'em
Here trees of stately size and billing turtles in 'em
Here ill-conditioned oranges abound
[Stage. And apples, bitter apples, strew the ground. (Tasting them. The inhabitants are cannibals, I fear:
I heard a hissing - there are serpents here!
O, there the people are
Our Captain, gentle natives! craves assistance;
Our ship 's well-stor❜d; -in yonder creek we 've laid her; His honour is no mercenary trader.
This is his first adventure; lend him aid,
And we may chance to drive a thriving trade.
His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought from far,
Equally fit for gallantry and war.
What! no reply to promises so ample?
There is a place, so Ariosto sings,
A treasury for lost and missing things:
Lost human wits have places there assign'd them,
And they who lose their senses, there may find them.
But where's this place, this storehouse of the age?
The Moon, says he; but I affirm, the Stage:
At least in many things, I think,
His lunar, and our mimic world agree.
Both shine at night, for, but at Foote's alone,
We scarce exhibit till the sun goes down.
Both prone to change, no settled limits fix,
And sure the folks of both are lunatics.
But in this parallel my best pretence is,
That mortals visit both to find their senses;
To this strange spot, rakes, macaronies, cits,
Come thronging to collect their scatter'd wits.
The gay coquette, who ogles all the day,
Comes here at night, and goes a prude away.
Hither the affected city dame advancing,
Who sighs for operas, and doats on dancing,
Taught by our art, her ridicule to pause on,
Quits the ballet, and calls for Nancy Dawson.
The gamester too, whose wit's all high or low,
'Oft risks his fortune on one desperate throw,
Comes here to saunter, having made his bets,
Finds his lost senses out, and pays his debts.
The Mohawk too with angry phrases stor❜d,
As "Dam'me, Sir," and "Sir, I wear a sword,
Here lesson'd for a while, and hence retreating,
Goes out, affronts his man, and takes a beating.
Here come the sons of scandal and of news,
But find no sense for they had none to lose.
Of all the tribe here wanting an adviser,
Our Author's the least likely to grow wiser;
Has he not seen how you your favour place,
On sentimental queens and lords in lace?
Without a star, a coronet, or garter,
How can the piece expect or hope for quarter?
No high-life scenes, no sentiment: :-- the creature
Still stoops among the low to copy nature.
Yes, he's far gone: - and yet some pity fix,
The English laws forbid to punish lunatics.
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS DOWAGER OF WALES.
THE following may more properly be termed a compilation than a poem. It was prepared for the composer in little more than two days; and may therefore rather be considered as an industrious effort of gratitude than of genius. In justice to the composer it may likewise be right to inform the public, that the music was composed in a period of time equally short.
When truth and virtue, &c.
The praise attending pomp and power,
The incense given to Kings,
Are but the trappings of an hour -
Mere transitory things:
The base bestow them; but the good agree
To spurn the venal gifts as flattery;
But when to pomp and power are join'd,
An equal dignity of mind;
When titles are the smallest claim;
When wealth and rank and noble blood,
But aid the power of doing good;
Then all their trophies last
- and flattery turns to fame.
Blest spirit thou, whose fame, just born to bloom,
Shall spread and flourish from the tomb;
How hast thou left mankind for Heaven!
E'en now reproach and faction mourn,
And, wondering how their rage was born,
Request to be forgiven!
Alas! they never had thy hate;
Unmov'd in conscious rectitude,
Thy towering mind self-centred stood,
Nor wanted man's opinion to be great.
In vain, to charm thy ravish'd sight,
A thousand gifts would fortune send;
In vain, to drive thee from the right,
A thousand sorrows urged thy end: