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While crowds aloft the laureat bust behold,
TO THE COMEDY OF
THE GOOD-NATUR'D MAN, 1769.
Prest by the load of life, the weary mind
Th' offended burgess hoards his angry tale,
“ This day the powder'd curls and golden coat,' Says swelling Crispin, “ beg'd a cobler's vote.” “ This night our wit,” the pert apprentice cries, “ Lies at my feet; I hiss him, and he dies.” The great, 'tis true, can charm th' electing tribe ; The bard may supplicate, but cannot bribe. Yet, judg’d by those whose voices ne'er were sold, He feels no want of ill-persuading gold; But, confident of praise, if praise be due, Trusts without fear to merit and to you.
TO THE COMEDY OF
A WORD TO THE WISE.*
SPOKEN BY MR. HULL.
This night presents a play which public rage,
To wit reviving from its author's dust
* Performed at Covent-Garden theatre in 1777, for the benefit of Mrs. Kelly, a widow of Hugh Kelly, Esq. (the author of the play) and her children.
+ Upon the first representation of this play, 1770, a party assembled to damn it, and succeeded.
Let one great payment ev'ry claim appease,
the poet cannot hear.
Stern Winter now, by Spring repress’d,
Forbears the long continued strife; And Nature on her naked breast
Delights to catch the gales of life. Now o'er the rural kingdom roves
Soft pleasure with the laughing train, Love warbles in the vocal groves,
And vegetation plants the plain.
Arthritic * tyranny consigns ;
Though rapture sings and beauty shines.
Her wings Imagination tries,
Where- _'s humble turrets rise.
Where first great nature charm'd my sight,
, Where wisdom first inform’d
heart. Here let me through the vales
A guide-a father--and a friend, Once more great Nature's works renew,
Once more on Wisdom's voice attend. From false caresses, causeless strife,
Wild hope, vain fear, alike remov'd; Here let me learn the use of life,
When best enjoy'd-when most improv'd.
Cool meditation's quiet seat,
The silent grandeur of retreat.
Or raging factions rush to war,
I can't prevent, and will not share. But lest I fall by subtler foes,
Bright Wisdom, teach me Curio's art, The swelling passions to compose,
And quell the rebels of the heart.
() Pu@bus! down the western sky,
Far hence diffuse thy burning ray, Thy light to distant worlds supply,
Ănd wake them to the cares of day. Come, gentle Eve, the friend of care,
Come, Cynthia, lovely queen of night! Refresh me with a cooling air,
And cheer me with a lambent light.
Her living carpet Nature spreads;
In showers its fragrant foliage sheds;
Improve the peaceful hour with wine,
Let musick die along the grove ; Around the bowl let myrtles twine,
And ev'ry strain be tun'd to love. Come, Stella, queen of all my heart !
Come, born to fill its vast desires ! Thy looks perpetual joys impart,
Thy voice perpetual love inspires. Whilst all my wish and thine complete,
By turns we languish and we burn, Let sighing gales our sighs repeat,
Our murmurs-murmuring brooks return. Let me when nature calls to rest,
And blushing skies the morn foretell, Sink on the down of Stella's breast,
And bid the waking world farewell.
Alas! with swift and silent pace,
Impatient time rolls on the year; The seasons change, and nature's face
Now sweetly smiles, now frowns severe. 'Twas Spring, 'twas Summer, all was gay,
Now Autumn bends a cloudy brow; The flowers of Spring are swept away,
And Summer-fruits desert the bough. The verdant leaves that play'd on high,
And wanton'd on the western breeze, Now trod in dust neglected lie,
As Boreas strips the bending trees. The fields that wav'd with golden grain,
As russet heaths, are wild and bare; Not moist with dew, but drench'd with rain,
Nor health, nor pleasure, wanders there. No more, while through the midnight shade, Beneath the moon's pale orb I stray,