« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The sense of St. John, Fox, and Legge's your due, The sweetness of unblameable Buccleugh;
Ophaly's honor, Stavordale's desert,
Storer's good-nature, and Fitzwilliam's heart.
BY MR. STEELE,
[Afterwards Sir Richard.]
WHEN Pleasure's falling to the low delight,
In the vain joys of the uncertain sight;
No sense of Wit when rude spectators know,
But in distorted gesture, farce and show;
How could, great Author, your aspiring mind,
Dare to write only to the few refin'd !
Yet, though that nice ambition you pursue,
'Tis not in Congreve's power to please but few.
Implicitly devoted to his fame,
Well-dress'd Barbarians know his awful name;
Though senseless they're of mirth, but when they laugh,
As they feel wine, but when, till drunk, they quaff.
On you from Fate a lavish portion fell,
In every way of writing to excell.
Your Muse applause to Arabella brings,
In notes as sweet as Arabella sings.
Whene'er you draw an undissembled woe,
With sweet distress your rural numbers flow;
Pastora's the complaint of every swain,
Pastora still the echo of the plain!
Or, if your Muse describe, with warming force,
'The wounded Frenchman falling from his horse;
And her own William, glorious in the strife,
Bestowing on the prostrate foe his life :
You the great act as generously rehearse,
And all the English fury's in your verse.
By your selected scenes and handsome choice, Ennobled Comedy exalts her voice;
You check unjust esteem and fond desire,
And teach to scorn what else we should admire;
The just impression taught by you we bear,
The player acts the world, the world the player,
Whom still that world unjustly disesteems,
Though he alone professes what he seems.
But, when your Muse assumes her tragic part, She conquers and she reigns in every heart; To mourn with her, men cheat their private woe, And generous pity's all the grief they know; The widow, who, impatient of delay,
From the town joys must mask it to the play, Joins with your Mourning-Bride's resistless moan, And weeps a loss she slighted when her own.
You give us torment, and you give us ease, And vary our affections as you please;
Is not a heart so kind as yours in pain,
To load your friends with cares you only feign;
Your friends in grief, compos'd yourself, to leave?
But 'tis the only way you'll e'er deceive.
Then still, great Sir, your moving power employ,
To lull our sorrow, and correct our joy.
IF, 'mid their round of pleasure, to convey
An useful lesson to the young and gay;
To swell their eyes with pearly drops, and share,
With cards and dress, the converse of the fair:
If, with the boasted bards of classic age,
Th' attention of the learned to engage,
And in the bosom of the rake to raise
A tender, social feeling-merit praise;
The gay, the fair, the learn'd, even rakes, agree
To give that praise to Nature, Truth, and thee.
Transported now to Harlowe-Place, we view
Thy matchless maid her godlike tasks pursue ;
Visit the sick or needy, and bestow
Drugs to relieve, or words to soften woe;
Or with the pious Lewen, hear her soar