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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
Heights unattain'd by female minds before.
Then to her ivy-bower she pleas'd retires,
And with light touch the trembling keys inspires:
While wakeful Philomel no more complains,
But, raptur'd, listens to her sweeter strains.
Now (direful contrast !) in each gloomy shade
Behold a pitying swain, or weeping maid!
And hark! with sullen swing, the tolling bell
Proclaims that loss which language fails to tell.
In awful silence soon a sight appears,
That points their sorrows, and renews their tears:
For, lo! far-blackening all the verdant meads,
With slow parade, the funeral pomp proceeds:
Methinks even now I hear th' encumber'd ground,
And pavement, echo with a rumbling sound :
And see the servants' tearful eyes declare
With speaking look, the herse, the herse, is here!
But, O thou sister of Clarissa's heart, Can I the anguish of thy soul impart, When, from your chariot flown with breathless haste, Her clay-cold form, yet beauteous, you embrac'd; And cried with heaving sobs, and broken strains, Are these are these-my much-lov'd friend's remains ?
Then view each Harlowe-face; remorse, despair,
And self-condemning grief, are pictur'd there.
Now first the brother feels, with guilty. sighs,
Fraternal passions in his bosom rise:
By shame and sorrow equally opprest,
The sister wrings her hands, and beats her breast. With streaming eyes, too late, the mother blames Her tame submission to the tyrant James:
Even he, the gloomy father, o'er the herse
Laments his rashness, and recalls his curse.
And thus each parent, who, with haughty sway,
Expects his child to tremble and obey;
Who hopes his power by rigor to maintain,
And meanly worships at the shrine of gain;
Shall mourn his error, and, repenting, own,
That bliss can ne'er depend on wealth alone.
Riches may charm, and pageantry invite :
But what are these, unless the minds unite?
Drive then insatiate avarice from your breast,
Nor think a Solmes can make Clarissa blest.
And you, ye fair, the wish of every heart,
Tho' grac'd by nature, and adorn'd by art,
Tho' sprightly youth its vernal bloom bestow,
And on your cheeks the blush of beauty glow,
Here see how soon those roses of a day,
Nipt by a frost, fade, wither, and decay!
Nor youth nor beauty could Clarissa save,
Snatch'd to an early, not untimely grave.
But still her own unshaken innocence,
Spotless and pure, unconscious of offence,
In the dread hour of death her bosom warm'd
With more than manly courage, and disarm'd