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Ah! luckless imp is he, whose worth elate,
Per mantle wimpled' low, her silken hair, Forces him pay this heavy tax for being great. Which loose adown her well-turn'd shoulders
stray'd, There stood an ancient mount, yelept Parnass, “ She made a net to catch the wanton Air,” (7'he fair domain of sacred Poesy)
Whose love-sick breezes all around her play'd Which, with fresh odours ever-blooming, was Aud seem'd in whispers soft to court the heav'nly Besprinkled with the dew of Castaly; [grides, maid, Which now in soothing murmurs whisp'ring Wat'ring with genial waves the fragrant soil,
And ever and anon she wav'd in air Now rolls adown the mountain's steepy sides,
A sceptre, traught with all-creative pow'r: Teaching the vales full beauteously tu smile, She wav'd it round: eftsoons there did appear Dame Nature's handy-work, not forin'd by lab'ring
Spirits and witches, forms unknown before: toil.
Again she lifts her wonder-working wand; The Muses fair, these peaceful shades among, Eftsoons upon the flow'ry piain were seen With skilful fingers sweep the trembling strings; The gav inhabitants of fairie land, The air in silence listens to the song,
And blithe attendants upon Mab their queen And Time forgets to ply his lazy wings; lo mystic circles danc'd along th'enchanted green. Palt-visag'd Care, with foul unhallow'd feet, Attempts the summit of the hill to gain,
On th' other side stood Nature, goddess fair; Ne can the hag arrive the blissful seat;
A matron seem'd she, and of manners staid; Her unavailing strength is spent in vain,
Beauteous her form, majestic was her air, Content sits on the top, and mocks her empty pain. In loose attire ot purest white array'd:
A potent rod she bore', whose pow'r was such, Oft Phoebus self left his divine abode,
(As froin berdarling's works may well be shown) And here enshrouded in a shady bow'r,
That often with its sou-tochanting touch, Regardless of his state, lay'd by the god,
She rais'd or joy, or caus'd the deep-felt groan, And own'd sweet Music's more alloring pow'r. And each man's passions made subservient to her On either side was plac'd a peerless wight, Whose merit long had fill'd the trump of Fame; This, Fancy's darling child, was Spenser hight,
But lo! thick fogs from out the earth arise, Who pip'd full pleasing on the banks of Tame;
And murky mists the buxom air invade, That no less fam'd than he, and Milton was his
Which with contagion dire infect the skies, name.
And all around their baleful influence shed; In these cool bow'rs they live supinely calm;
Th’infected sky, which whilom was so fair, No v harmless talk, now emulously sing;
With thick Cimmerian darkness is o'erspread;
The Sun, which whiiom shone without compare, While Virtue, pouring round her sacred balm, Makes happiness eternal as the spring.
Mumes in pitchy veil his radiant head,
And fore the time sore-grieving seeks bis wat'ry Alternately they sung; now Spenser 'gan,
bed. Of jousts and tournaments, and champions
strong; Now Milton sung of disobedient man,
Envy, the daughter of fell Acheron, And Eden lost: the bards around them throng,
(The tiood of leadly hate and gloomy night) Drawn by the wond'rous magic of their princes'
Had left precipitate her Sʻygian throne,
And through the frighted heavens wing'd her song.
flight: Not far from these, Dan Chaucer, ancient wight, With careful eye each realm she did explore, A lofty seat on Mount Parnassus held,
Ne mote she ought of happiness observe; Who long had been the Muses' chief delight; For happiness, alas! was now no more, His reverend locks were silver'd o'er with eld; Sith ev'ry one from virtue's paths did swerve, Grave was nis visage, and his habit plain; And trample on religion base designs to serve. And while he sung, fair Nature he display'd, in verse albeit aucouth, and simple strain;
At length, on blest Parnassus seated high, Ne mote he well be seen, so thick the shade, Their temple circled with a laurel crown, Which elms and aged oaks had all around him Sponser and Milton inet her scowling eye, made.
And turn'd her horrid grin into a frown.
Full fast unto her sister did she post, Next Shakspeare sat, irregularly great,
There to upload the venom of her breast, And in his hand a magic rod did hold,
To till how all her happiness was crost, Which visionary beings did create,
Sith others were of happiness possest: And turn the foulest dross to purest gold:
Did never gloomy Hell send forth like ugly pest. Whatever spirits rove in earth or air, Or bad or good, obey his dread command;
Within the covert of a gloomy wood, To his behests these willingly repair,
Wherefun'ral cypressstar-proofbranchesspread, Those aw'd by terrours of his magic wand,
O'ergrown with tangling briers a cavern stood; The which not all their pow'rs united might with
Fit place for melancholy dreary-head'. stand, Beside the bard there stood a beauteous maid, "Wimpled. A word used by Spenser for hung Whose glittering appearance dimm'd the eyen; down). The line enclosed within commas is one of Her thin-wrought vesture various tints display'd, Fairfax's in his translation of Tasso. Fancy her name, ysprong of race divine;
* Dreary-head. Gloominess.
Here a deformed monster joy'd to won,
And now, more hideous rendered to the sight, Which on fell rancour ever was y bent,
By reason of her raging cruelty, All from the rising to the setting sun,
She burnt to go, equipt in dreadful plight,
And find hit engine for her forgery.
While hellish imps prepare the monster's car, In Bowing sable stole she was yclad,
In which she might cut through the wide exWhich with her countenance did well accord;
pause, Forth from her mouth, like one through grief And find out nations that extended far, gone mad,
When all was pitchy dark, ne twinkled one bright A frothy sea of nauseous foam was pour'd;
star. A ghastly grin and eyes asquint, display The rancour which her hellish thoughts contain, Black was her chariot, drawn by dragons dire, And how, when man is blest, she pines away, And each fell serpent had a double tongue, Burning to turn his happiness to pain;
Which ever and anon spit flaming fire, Malice the monster's name, a foe to God and man. The regions of the tainted air among;
A lofty seat the sister-monsters bore, Along the floor black loathsome toads still In deadly machinations close combin’d, crawl,
Dull Folly drove with terrible uproar, Their gullets swell’d with poison's mortal bane, And cruel Discord follow'd fast behind; Which ever and anon they spit at all
God help the man 'gainst whom such castiff foes Whom hapless fortune leads too near her den;
are join'd. Around her waist, in place of siiken zone, A life-devouring viper rear'd his head,
Aloft in air the rattling chariot flies, Who no distinction made'twixt frieud and foen, While thunder harshly grates upon its wheels;
But death on ev'ry side fierce brandished, Black pointed spires of smoke around them rise, Fly, reckless mortals, fiy, in vain is hardy-head 3. The air depress'd unusual burthen feels;
Detested sight! in terrible array,
Here, eldest son of Malice, long had dwelt
Awhile contending passions utt'rance choke, His fame on double falsities was built: At length the fiend in furious tone her silence (Ah! wortbless son, of worthless parent born!) broke.
Under the sbew of semblance fair, he veil'd
The black intentions of his hellish breast; “ Sister, arise! see how our pow'r decays,
And by these guileful means he more prevail'd No more our empire thou and I can boast,
Than had he open enmity profest;
The wolf more safely wounds when in sheep's See in what state Parnassus' bill appears;
clothing drest. See Phoebus' self two happy bards atween;
Him then themselves atween they joyful place, See how the god their song attentive hears;
(Sure sign of woe when such are pleas'd, alas!) This Spenser hight, that Milton, well I ween!
Then measure back the air with swifter pace, Who can behold unmov'd sike heart-tormenting
Until they reach the foot of Mount Parnass. scene?
Hither in evil hour the monsters came, “ Sister, arise! ne let our courage droop,
And with their new companion did alight, Perforce we will compel these mortals own,
Who long had lost all sense of virtuous shame, That mortal force unto our force shall stoop;
Bebolding worth with poisonous despight;
Long burnt he sore the summit to obtain,
Long burnt he sore, but still he burnt in vain; Arise, unite with me, and be as whilom great!” Mote none come there, who come with impious
As at the banquet of Thyestes old,
So did he now through grief his beams with
hold, 3 Hardy-head. Courage.
And darkness to be felt o'erwhelm'd the sky;
Forth issued from their dismal dark abodes To your decision he submits his cause,
Approaching death to miserable wight: The simple beauties which he meant to grace; Did never mind of man behold sike dreadful sight? If, an invader upon others' land,
He spoil and plunder with a robber's hand, Apollo wails his darling done to die
Do justice on bim!--as on fools before, By foul attempt of Enry's fatal bane;
And give to blockheads past one blockhead more. The Muses sprinkle himn with dew of Castaly, And crown his death with many a living strain; Hoary Parnassus beats his aged breast, Aged, yet ne'er before did sorrow know; The flowers drooping their despair attest,
PROLOGUE, Th' aggrieved rivers querulously flow;
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN AT DRURYAll nature sudden groand with sympathetic woe.
LANE THEATRE, ON HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTH; But, lo! the sky a gayer livery wears,
DAY, 1761. The melting clouds begin to face apace, GENIUS, neglected, mourns his wither'd bays; And now the cloak of darkness disappears, But soars to Heav'n from virtue's generous praise. (May darkness ever thus to light give place!) When kinys themselves the proper judges sit Erst griev'd Apollo jocund looks resumes, O'er the bl-st realms of science, arts, and wit, The Nine renew their whiloin cheerful song, Each cager breast beats high for glorious fame, No grief Parnassus' aged breast consumes, And emulation glows with active flame.
For from the teeming earth new flowers sprong, Thus, with Angustus rose imperial Roine, The plenteous rivers flow'd full peacefully along. For arms renown’d abroad, for arts at home.
Thus, when Eliza fill'd Britannia's throne, The stricken bard fresh vital heat renews, Whose blood, erst stagnant, rushes through bis Then sinew'd genius strong and nervous rose,
What arts, what learning was not then our own? reins;
In Spenser's numbers, and in Raleigh's prose; Life through each pore her spirit doth infuse,
On Bacon's lips then every science hung, (tongue. And Fame by Malice unextinguish'd reigns:
And Nature spoke from her own Shakspeare's And see, a form breaks forth, all heav'ııly bright, Her patriot smiles fell, like refreshing dews, Upheld by one of mortal progeny, A female form, yclad in snowy-white,
To wake to life each pleasing useful Muse,
While every virtue which the queen profess'd, Ne half so fair at distance seen as nigh;
Beard on her subjects, but to make them blest. Douglas and Truth appear, Envy and Lauder die.
O glorious times!--O theme of praise divine!
Behold e'en now strong science imps her wing, PROLOGUE TO THE JEALOUS WIFE. And arts revive beneath a patriot king.
The Muses too burst forth with double light, SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK.
To shed their lustre in a monarch's sight. Tue Jealous Wife! a comedy! poor man!
His cheering smiles alike to all extend A charining subject! but a wretched plan.
Perhaps this spot may boast a royal friend. His skittish wit, o'erleaping the due bound,
And when a prince, with early judgment grac'd, Commits flat trespass upon tragic ground.
Himself shall marshal out the way to taste, Quarrels, upbraidings, jealousies, and spleen,
Caught with the flame perhaps e'en here may rise Grow too familiar in the comic scene.
Some powerful genius of uncommon size, Tinge but the language with heroic chime,
And, pleas'd with Nature, Nature's depth explore, 'Tis passion, pathos, character, sublime!
And be what our great Shakspeare was before. What round big words had swell’d the pompous Aking the husband, and the wife a queen! (scene, Then might Distraction rend her graceful hair, See sightless forms, and scream, and gape, and stare.
PROLOGUE TO HECUBA. Drawcansir Death had rag'd without control,
SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK, 1761. Here the drawn dagger, there the poison'd bowl. What eyes had streain’d at all the whining woe! A Grecian bard, two thousand years ago, What hands had thunder'd at each Hah, and Oh! Plann'd this sad fable of illustrious woe; But peace! the gentle prologue custom sends, Waken'd each soft emotion of the breast, Like drum and serjeant, to beat up for friends. And call'd forth tears, that would not be supprest. At vice and folly, each a lawful game,
Yet, O ye mighty sirs, of judgment chaste, Our author flies, but with no partial aim.
Who, lacking genius, have a deal of taste, He read the mamers, open as they lie
Can you forgive our modern ancient piece, In Nature's volume to the general eye.
Which brings no chorus, tho' it comes from Books too he read, nor blush'd to use their store Greece? He does but what his betters did before.
Kind social chorus, which all humours meets, Shakspeare has done it, and the Grecian stage And sings and dances up and down the streets. Caught truth of character from Homer's page. -Oh! might true taste, in these unclassic days,
If in his scenes an honest skill is shown, Revive the Grecian fashions with their plays!
age, He brings more forward, in dramatic view; And, at three steps, stride o'er a modern stage;
Each gesture then would boast unusual charms, Well might thy morals sweet engage
Th' attention of the mitred sage,
For not ambition's giddy strife, No features then the poet's mind would trace, The gilded toys of public life, But one black vizor blot out all the face.
Which snare the gay umstable youth,
Which lapt thee in Retirement's arms,
Here bade free genius tune his grateful song,
Which else had wasted in the desert air,
Or droop'd unnotic'd 'mid the vulgar throng.
--Ne'er may her youth degenerate shame
The glories of Eliza's name!
But with the poet's phrensy bold,
Such as inspir'd her bards of old,
Pluck the green laurel from the hand of Fame!
THE TEARS AND TRIUMPH OF PAR- *
The scene discovers Apollo and the Nine Muses in SPOKEN ON A PUBLIC OCCASION AT WESTMINSTER
their proper habits. SCHOOL
APOLLO. Nor at Apollo's vaunted shrine,
Fate gave the word; the deed is done; Nor to the fabled Sisters Nine,
Augustus is no more; Offers the youth his ineffectual vow,
His great career of fame is run, Far be their rites !-Such worship fits not now;
And all the loss deplore. When at Eliza's sacred name
[The Muses fear off their laurels. Each breast receives the present flame:
Well may you rend your golden hair;
may you now your dirges sing, Of patriots, active in their country's cause,
And pierce with cries the troubled air. Wbo plan her councils, or direct her laws.
Fate gave the word, &c.
Ambition never mark'd his way.
CALLIOPE. Ere interest, frantic zeal, or jealous art,
Unless the best ambition that can fire Have taught the language foreign to the heart. A monarch's breast and all bis soul inspire,
The gen'rous purpose of the noble mind, 'Twas here, in many an early strain
The best ambition- to serve human kind.
Yes, virgins, yes; that wish sublime When Busby's skill, and judgment sage, Rank'd him with those of earliest time, Repress'd the poet's frantic rage,
Who for a people's welfare strove;
Drink nectar with Olympian Jove
And Mercy!—that with asking eye Thy mind was lofty and sublime,
Near the Omnipotent du'st stand; And manly honour dignified thy heart:
And, when mankind provoke his rage, Though fond of wit, yet firm to virtue's plan, Do'st clasp his knees, his wrath assuage, The poet's trifles ne'er disgrac'd the man.
And win the thunder from his hand!
BOTH. Oh! white-rob'd Faith! celestial maid!
Will by the hero now be done-
His great career of fame is run,
And all the loss deplore.
Lo! Mars, from his beloved land,
Where Freedom long hath fix'd her stand, CALLIOPE.
Bids ye collect your flowing hair, Where were ye, Muses, when the fatal sheers
And again the laurel wear: The Fury rais'd, to close his rev'rend years?
Por see! Britannia rears her drooping head; But ah! vain wish! - you could not stop the Again resumes her trident of the main; blow!
Thames takes his urn, and seeks his wat'ry bed, No omen warn'd ye of th' impending woe.
While gay Content sits smiling on the plain.
Hark! a glad voice,
Proclaims the people's choice.
CHORUS, within the scenes.
He is our liege, our rightful lord! Behold her languid air!
Of heart and tongue with one accord Lo! her dishevell d hair!
We all will sing Majestic now no more!
Long live the king! Still on the sullen wave her eye is bent,
He is our liege!-he!-he alone! The trident of the main thrown idle by;
With British heart he mounts the thronę: Old Thames, his sea-green mantle rent,
Around him throngs a loyal band; Inverts his urn, and heaves a doleful sigh.
He will protect his native land! Hark! to the winds and waves
He is our liege, &c. Frantic with grief she raves,
[The Muses rise and put on their laurels. And,“ Cruel gods!” she cries;
The Muses now their heads shall raise;
The arts to life shall spring;
Virgins, we'll trim our wither'd bays,
And wake each vocal string;
Now shall the sculptor's happy skill Walks in a solemn pomp of woe
Touch the rude stone to life; Through awful arches, gloomy aisles,
The painter shall his canvas fill,
Pleas'd with his mimic strife.
Sweet Mercy! Faith! celestial Truth!
Now by your aid the royal youth
Shall live the guardian of the laws; 'Midst bones of legislators old!
Dear Liberty! round Albion's isle
That bid'st eternal sunshine smile,
He now will guard your sacred cause. Of him who sought thi' ambitious Gaul O'er thick-embattled plains,
APOLLO. Who felt, who liv'd, and reign'd for all,
Blest prince! whose subjects in each adverse hour This only now remains.
For freedom still have stood!
Blest isle! whose prince but deems the sov'reign Bring, in handfuls, lilies bring;
The pow'r of doing good!
[pow'r, Bring me all the flow'ry spring.
MARS. Scatter roses on his bier;
Now open all your Helicon; explore
Of harmony the loftiest store;
Let the drum beat alarms,
Such as rouse us to arms;
The trumpet's shrill clangor shall pierće througke
the sky! No more, harmonions progeny of Jove,
Swell the rapture, swell it high; No more let fun'ral accents rise;
And in notes sublime and clear The great, the good Augustus reigns above,
Pour the strong melody that Heav'n may hear. Translated to his kindred skies.
Nothing mortal will I sound;
Lo! the flame, the flame divine!
High I mount, I quit the ground,
Holy fury! I am thine.