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WHAT hopes-what terrors does this gift create ?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
Consign'd to Venus by Melissa's hand)
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects a lover's prayer.
In myrtle shades oft fings the happy swain,
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
The myrtle crowns the happy lovers heads,
The unhappy lovers graves the myrtle spreads,
Oh! then, the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart.
Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.
WHEN lately Stella's form display'd
The beauties of the gay brocade,
The nymphs who found their power decline,
Proclaim'd her not so fair as fine.
“ Fate! snatch away the bright disguise,
“ And let the goddess trust her eyes.”
Thus blindly pray'd the fretful fair,
And fate malicious heard the pray’r ;
But brighten'd by the fable dress,
As virtue rises in distress,
Since Stella ftill extends her reign,
Ah! how shall envy footh her pain?
Th’adoring youth, and envious fair,
Henceforth shall form one common prayer ;
And love and hate alike implore
The skies" That Stella mourn no more.”
T length muft Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown’d in B -n's deathless strain ?
Thy charms at least, fair Firebruce, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre ;
For such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seein'tt at once, bright nymph, a Muse and Grace.
This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, Esq; of Ipswich, and relia of Philip Evers, Esq. of that town; she became the seconi wise of Sir Cordell Firebrace, the last Baronet of that name, (to whom she brought a fortune of 25,000l.) July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762, .to William Campbell, Esq. uncle to the present Duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.
To 'L Y CE, an elderly Lady. YE nymphs whom starry rays invelt,
By flattering poets given, Who shine by lavish lovers drest
In all the poinp of heaven, Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays,
But as your fifter of the sky,
Let Lyce share the praise.
Her filver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
Striped rainbows round her eyes are seen,
And Towers from either flow.
Her teeth the night with darkness dyes,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er ;
Her tongue like nimble lightning plies,
And can with thunder roar.
But some Zelinda, while I fing,
Denies my Lyce fhines !
And all the pens of Cupid's wing
Attack my gentle lines.
Yet spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express, My Lyce makes as good a sky,
And I but flatter less.
SPOKEN by MR. GARRICK,
At the Opening of the THEATRE ROYAL,
DRURY LANE, 1747.
When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous
First rear'd the stage, immortal Shakespeare rose ;
Each change of many-colour'd life he drew.,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new :
Existence faw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting time toil'd after him in vain.
His powerful strokes prefiding truth impress’d,
And unresisted passion storm'd the breaft.
Then Johnson came, instructed from the school,
To please in method, and invent by rule ;
His studious patience and laborious art,
By regular approach, essay'd the heart : ,
Cold approbation gave the lingering bays ;
For those who durft not censure, scarce could praise.
A mortal born, he met the gen’ral doom,
But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb.
The wits of Charles found easier ways to fame, Nor with'd for Johnson's art, or Shakespeare's flame. Themselves they studied; as they felt, they writ: Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
Vice always found a sympathetic friend ;
They pleas'd their age, and did not aim to mend.
Yet bards like these aspir’d to lasting praise,
And proudly hop'd to pinp in future days.
Their cause was gen’ral, their supports were strong;
Their Olaves were willing, and their reign was long :
Till shame regain’d the post that sense betray'd,
And virtue call'd oblivion to her aid.
Then crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as refind,
For years the pow'r of Tragedy declin'd ;
From bard to bard the frigid caution crept,
Till declamation roard whilst passion slept ;
Yet till did virtue deign the stage to tread,
Philosophy remain'd tho'nature filed.
But forc’d, at length, her ancient reign to quit,
She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of wit ;
Exulting folly hail'd the joyous day,
And pantomine and song confirm'd her sway.
But who the coming changes can presage, And mark the future periods of the stage ? Perhaps if skill could distant times explore, New Behns, new Durseys, yet remain in store Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet dy'd, On flying cars new forcerers may Perhaps (for who can guess th'effects of chance) Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance.
Hard is his lot that here by fortune plac'd, Muit watch the wild viciffitudes of taste ;