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Secure with

peace,

with

competence to dwell, While tutelary nations guard her cell. Yours is the charge, ye fair, ye wise, ye brave ! 'Tis yours to crown desert-beyond the grave.

PROLOGUE

TO THE COMEDY OF

THE GOOD-NATUR’D MAN. 1769.

PREST by the load of life, the weary mind

Surveys the general toil of human kind,
With cool submission joins the lab'ring train,
And social forrow loses half its pain ;
Our anxious bard without complaint may share
This bustling season's epidemick care;
Like Caefar's pilot dignify'd by fate,
Toft in one common storm with all the great;
Diftreft alike the statesman and the wit,
When one a Borough courts, and one the Pit.
The busy candidates for power and fame
Have hopes, and fears, and wishes just the same ;
Disabled both to combat, or to fly,
Must hear all taunts, and hear without reply.
Uncheck'd on both, loud rabbles vent their rage,
As mongrels bay the lion in a cage.
Th' offended burgess hoards his angry tale,
For that bleft year when all that vote may rail ;

Their

D 2

Their schemes of spite the poet's foes dismiss,
Till that glad night when all that hate may hiss.

“ This day the powder'd curls and golden coat,
Says swelling Crispin, “ begg?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 fold,
He feels no want of ill-persuading gold;
But confident of praise, if praise be due,
Trufts without fear to merit and to you.

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TH

HIS night presents a play which publick rage,

Or right, or wrong, once hooted from the stage f. From zeal, or malice, now no more we dread, For English vengeance wars not with the dead.

* Performed at Covent Garden theatre in 1777, for the benefit of Mrs. Kelly, widow of Hugh Kelly, Esq. (the author of the play) and her children.

+ Upon the first representation of this play, 1770, a party arfembled to damn it, and succeeded.

A gene

A generous foe regards with pitying eye
The man whom fate has laid, where all must lie.

To wit reviving from its author's dust,
Be kind ye judges, or at least be just.
For no renew'd hostilities invade
Th’ oblivious grave's inviolable fhade.
Let one great payment every claim appease,
And him who cannot hurt, allow to please ;
To please by scenes unconscious of offence,
By harmless merriment, or useful sense.
Where aught of bright, or fair the piece displays,
Approve it only—'tis too late to praise.
If want of skill, or want of care appear,
Forbear to hiss the poet cannot hear.
By all like him must praise and blame be found,
At best a fleeting gleam, or empty found.
Yet then shall calm reflection bless the night,
When liberal pity dignified delight;
When pleasure fir'd her torch at virtue's flame,
And mirth was bounty with an bumbler name,

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STEI
TERN Winter now, by Spring repressid,

Forbears the long continued ftrife ;
And Nature, on her naked breast,

Delights to catch the gales of life. Now o'er the rural kingdom roves

Soft pleasure with her laughing train, Love warbles in the vocal groves,

And vegetation plants the plain. Unhappy! whom to beds of pain,

Arthritick * tyranny configns ; Whom smiling nature courts in vain,

Tho' rapture sings and beauty shines,
Yet tho' my limbs disease invades,

Her wings imagination tries,
And bears me to the peaceful shades

Where -'s humble turrets rise.
Here ftop, my foul, thy rapid flight,

Nor from the pleafing groves depart, Where first great nature charm'd my sight, Where wisdom first inform'd

my

heart.

* The author being ill of the gout.

Here

Here let me thro' the vales pursue

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 beft enjoy'd-when most improv'd.
Teach me, thou venerable bower,

Cool meditation's quiet seat,
The generous scorn of venal power,

The filent grandeur of retreat.
When pride by guilt to greatness climbs,

Or raging factions rush to war,
Here let me learn to shun the crimes

I can't prevent, and will not share, But left I fall by subtler foes,

Bright wisdom teach me Curio's art, The swelling passions to compose,

And quell the rebels of the heart.

M I DS UM

M E R

A N

ODE.

PHOEBUS! down the western sky,

Far hence diffuse thy burning ray, Thy light to distant worlds supply,

And wake them to the cares of day.

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