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How will sweet Ovid's Ghost be pleas'd to hear
His Fame augmented by an English Peer * ;
How he embellishes His Helen's Loves,
Out-does his Softness, and his Sense improves ?
When these translate, and teach Tranflators too,
Nor Firstling Kid, nor any Vulgar Vow,
Shou'd at Apollo's grateful Altar Itand :
Roscommon writes ; to that auspicious Hand,
Muse, feed the Bull that spurns the yellow Sand.
Roscommon, whom both Court and Camps commend,
True to his Prince, and faithful to his Friend ;
Roscommon firft in Fields of Honour known,
First in the peaceful Triumphs of the Gown;
Who both Minervas justly makes his own.
Now let the few belov'd by Jove, and they
Whom infus’d Titan form'd of better Clay,
On equal Terms with ancient Wit engage,
Nor mighty Homer fear, nor facred Virgil's Page :
Our English Palace opens wide in State ;
And without stooping they may pass the Gate.
A Letter to Sir GEORGE ETHEREDGE.
10 you who live in chill Degree,
As Map.informs, of Fifty three,
And do not much for Cold atone,
By bringing thither Fifty one,
Methinks all Climes shou'd be alike,
From Tropick e'en to Pole Artique ;
Since you have such a Constitution
As no where suffers Diminution.
You can be old in
Debate, And young in Love-affairs of State ;
And both to Wives and Husbands show
The Vigour of a Plenipo.
Like mighty Missioner you come
Ad Partes Infidelium.
A Work of wondrous Merit sure,
So far to go, so much t'endure ;
And all to preach to German Dame,
Where Sound of Cupid never came.
Lefs had you done,
As far as Drake or Pinto went,
For Cloves or Nutmegs to the Line-a,
Or e'en for Oranges to China,
That had indeed been Charity ;
Where Love-fick Ladies helpless lie,
Chapt, and for want of Liquor dry.
But you have made your Zeal appear
Within the Circle of the Bear.
What Region of the Earth's so dull,
That is not of your Labours full ?
Triptolemus (so sung the Nine)
Strew'd Plenty from his Cart Divine.
But spite of all these Fable-Makers,
He never fow'd on Almain Acres :
No, that was left by Fate's Decree,
To be perform'd and sung by thee.
Thou break’ft thro' Forms with as much ease
As the French King thro’ Articles.
In grand Affairs thy Days are spent,
In waging weighty Compliment,
With such as Monarchs represent.
They, whom such vaft Fatigues attend,
Want some soft Minutes to unbend,
To fhew the World that now and then
Great Ministers are mortal Men.
Then Rhenish Rummers walk the Round ;
In Bumpers ev'ry King is crown'd;
Besides three Holy mitred Hectors,
And the whole College of Electors.
No Health of Potentate is sunk,
pays to make his Envoy drunk.
These Dutch Deligłıts, I mention'd laft,
Suit not, I know, your English Taste :
For Wine to leave a Whore or Play
Was ne'er your Excellency's way.
Nor need this Title give Offence,
For here you were your Excellence,
For Gaming, Writing, Speaking, Keeping,
His Excellence for all but Sleeping.
Now if you tope in form, and treat,
'Tis the four Sauce to the sweet Meat,
The Fine you pay for being great.
Nay, here's a harder Impofition,
Which is indeed the Court's Petition,
That setting worldly Pomp aside,
Which Poet has at Font deny'd,
You would be pleas'd in humble way
To write a Trifle calld a Play.
This truly is a Degradation,
But wou'd oblige the Crown and Nation
Next to your wise Negotiation.
If you pretend, as well you may,
Your high Degree, your Friends will say,
The Duke St. Aignon made a Play.
If Gallick Wit convince you scarce, .
His Grace of Bucks has made a Farce,
And you, whose Comick Wit is Terse all,
Can hardly fall below Rebearfal.
Then finish what you have began;
But fcribble faster if you can:
For yet no George, to our discerning,
Has writ without a ten Years Warning.
To Mr. SOUTHERN E, on bis Comedy called
The Wives Excuse.
Ure there's a Fate in Plays, and 'tis in vain
Some very foolish Influence rules the Pit,
Not always kind to Sense, or just to Wit :
And whilft it lasts, let Buffoonry succeed,
To make us laugh ; for never was more need.
Farce, in it self, is of a nafty Scent ;
But the Gain smells not of the Excrement.
The Spanish Nymph, a Wit and Beauty too,
With all her Charms, bore but a single Show :
But let a Monster Muscovite appear,
He draws a crowded Audience round the Year.
May be thou hast not pleas’d the Box and Pit ;
Yet those, who blame thy Tale, applaud thy Wit :
So Terence plotted, but fo Terence writ.
Like his thy Thoughts are true, thy Language clean;
E'en Lewdness is made moral in thy Scene.
The Hearers may for want of Nokes repine;
But rest fecure, the Readers will be thine.
Nor was thy labour'd Drama damn’d or hiss'd,
But with a kind Civility dismiss’d ;
With such good Manners, as the * Wife did use,
Who, not accepting, did but just refuse.
+ The Wife in the Play, Mrs. Fricodali,
There was a Glance at parting ; such a Look,
As bids thee not give o'er, for one Rebuke,
But if thou wouldnt be feen, as well as read,
Copy one living Author, and one dead :
The Standard of thy Style let Etberege be ;
For Wit, th’immortal Spring of Wycherly :
Learn, after both, to draw some just design,
And the next Age will learn to copy thine.
To Mr. LEE on bis Alexander.
'He Blast of common Censure cou'd I fear,
Before your Play my Name shou'd not appear ; For 'twill be thought, and with some colour too, I pay the Bribe I first receiv'd from you ; That mutual Vouchers for our Fame we stand, And play the Game into each other's hand ; And as cheap Pen’orths to our selves afford, As Beffus and the Brothers of the Sword. Such Libels private Men may well endure, When States and Kings themselves are not secure : For ill Men, conscious of their inward Guilt, Think the belt Actions on by-ends are built. And yet my Silence had not 'scap'd their Spite ; Then, Envy had not suffer'd me to write ; For, since I cou'd not Ignorance pretend, Such Merit I must envy or commend. So many Candidates there stand for Wit, A Place at Court is scarce so hard to get : In vain they crowd each other at the Door ; For e'en Reversions are all begg'd before : Desert, how known foe'er, is long delay'd ; And then too Fools and Knaves are better pay'd.