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MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.

PROLOGUE.
Written and spoken by the Poet LABERIUS, a Roman Knight whom CÆSAR forced

upon the Stage. Preserved by MACROBIUS.
What! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age !
Scarce half alive, oppressed with many a year,
What, in the name of dotage, drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
No force nor fraud could turn my steps aside ;
Unawed by power, and unappalled by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear :
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more ;
For ah ! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine ;
Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame :
No more my titles shall my children tell ;
The old buffoon will fit my name as well :
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.

THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION. A TALE.

SECLUDED from domestic strife, So with decorum all things carried ; Jack Book-worm led a college life; Miss frowned and blushed, and then was A fellowship at twenty-five

--married. Made him the happiest man alive;

Need we expose to vulgar sight He drank his glass, and cracked his joke, The raptures of the bridal night ? And freshmen wondered as he spoke. Need we intrude on hallowed ground,

Such pleasures, unalloyed with care, Or draw the curtains closed around? Could any accident impair?

Let it suffice, that each had charms : Could Cupid's shaft at length transfix He clasped a goddess in his arms; Our swain, arrived at thirty-six

?

And, though she felt his usage rough, O! had the archer ne'er come down Yet in a man 'twas well enough. To ravage in a country town !

The honey-moon like lightning flew; Or Flavia been content to stop

The second brought its transports too ; At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop. A third, a fourth, were not amiss; O, had her eyes forgot to blaze !

The fifth was friendship mixed with bliss: Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze ;

But, when a twelvemonth passed away, 0! -But let exclamations cease, Jack found his goddess made of clay; Her presence banished all his peace. Found half the charms that decked her face

Arose from powder, shreds, or lace : Now to perplex the ravelled noose,
But still the worst remained behind, As each a different way pursues,
That very face had robbed her mind. While sullen or loquacious strife

Skilled in no other arts was she, Promised to hold them on for life,
But dressing, patching, repartee;

That dire disease, whose ruthless power And, just as humour rose or fell,

Withers the beauty's transient flowerBy turns a slattern or a belle.

Lo! the small pox, whose horrid glare 'Tis true she dressed with modern grace,

Levelled its terrors at the fair; Half naked at a ball or race;

And, rifling every youthful grace, But when at home, at board or bed, Left but the remnant of a face. Five greasy night-caps wrapped her head. The glass, grown hateful to her sight, Could so much beauty condescend Reflected now a perfect fright; To be a dull domestic friend?

Each former art she vainly tries Could any curtain lectures bring

To bring back lustre to her eyes; To decency so fine a thing?

In vain she tries her paste and creams, In short, by night 'twas fits or fretting;

To smooth her skin or hide its seams; By day 'twas ga lding or coquetting. Her country beaux and city cousins, Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy

Lovers no more, flew off by dozens ; Of powdered coxcombs at her levy : The 'squire himself was seen to yield, The’squire and captain took their stations, And even the captain quit the field. And twenty other near relations :

Poor madam, now condemned to hack Jack sucked his pipe and often broke The rest of life with anxious Jack, A sigh in suffocating smoke ;

Perceiving others fairly flown, While all their hours were passed between Attempted pleasing him alone. Insulting repartee or spleen.

Jack soon was dazzled to behold Thus as her faults each day were known, Her present face surpass the old : He thinks her features coarser grown ; With modesty her cheeks are dyed ; He fancies every vice she shows

Humility displaces pride ;
Or thins her lip, or points her nose : For tawdry finery is seen
Whenever rage or envy rise,

A person ever neatly clean:
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes! No more presuming on her sway,
He knows not how, but so it is,

She learns good-nature every day :
Her face is grown a knowing phiz; Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
And, though her fops are wondrous civil, Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
He thinks her ugly as the devil.

A NEW SIMILE. IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.

LONG had I sought in vain to find

Imprimis, pray observe his hat, A likeness for the scribbling kind; Wings upon either side-mark that. The modern scribbling kind, who write Well! what is it from thence we gather? In wit, and sense, and nature's spite ; Why, these denote a brain of feather. Till reading, I forget what day on, A brain of feather! very right, A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon, With wit that's flighty, learning light ; I think I met with something there Such as to modern bard's decreed; To suit my purpose to a hair:

A just comparison,--proceed. But let us not proceed too furious,

In the next place, his feet peruse, First please to turn to God Mercurius ! Wings grow again from both his shves; You'll find him pictured at full length Designed, no doubt, their part to bear, In book the second, page the tenth : And wast his godship through the air : The stress of all my proofs on him I lay, And here my simile unites ; And now proceed we to our simile. For in the modern poet's flights,

I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.

Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Filled with a snake-encircled wand,
By classic authors termed Caduceus,
And highly famed for several uses.
To wit : most wondrously endued,
No poppy-water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore.
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.

Now to apply begin we then :-
His wand's a modern author's pen :
The serpents round about it twined
Denote him of the reptile kind,

Denote the rage with which he writes ;
His frothy slaver, venomed bites ;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep.
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.

And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover Mercury had a failing :
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he.
But even this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance :
Our modern bards ! why, what a pox
Arethey—but senseless stones and blocks?

DESCRIPTION OF AN AUTHOR'S BEDCHAMBER.

WHERE the Red Lion, flaring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay,,
Where Calvert's butt and Parson's black champagne
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane ;
There, in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
The Muse found Scroggen stretched beneath a rug.
A window, patched with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly showed the state in which he lay ;
The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread ;
The humid wall with paltry pictures spread ;
The royal Game of Goose was there in view,
And the Twelve Rules the royal martyr drew;
The Seasons, framed with listing, found a place,
And brave Prince William showed his lamp-black face :
The morn was cold, he views with keen desire
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire:
With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scored,
And five cracked teacups dressed the chimney board :
A night-cap decked his brows instead of bay ;
A cap by night- --a stocking all the day !

ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.

GOUD people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song ;
And if you find it wondrous short, -

It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,

Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,

Around from all the neighbouring streets To comfort friends and foes;

The wondering neighbours ran, The naked every day he clad,

And swore the dog had lost his wits, When he put on his clothes.

To bite so good a man. And in that town a dog was found, The wound it seemed both sore and sad As many dogs there be,

To every Christian eye ; Both mongrel, puppy, whe!p, and hound, And while they swore the dog was mad, And curs of low degree.

They swore the man would die. This dog and man at first were friends; But soon a wonder came to light, But when a pique began,

That showed the rogues they lied; The dog, to gain some private ends, The man recovered of the bite, Went mad, and bit the man.

The dog it was that died. .

STANZAS. ON WOMAN.

When lovely Woman stoops to folly,

And finds too late that men betray, What charm can soothe her melancholy,

What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,

To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover,

And wring his bosom—is, to die.

THE GIFT. TO IRIS, IN BOW-STREET, COVENT-GARDEN.

IMITATED FROM THE FRENCH.

SAY, cruel Iris, pretty rake,

A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy, Dear mercenary beauty,

My rivals give—and let 'em ; What annual offering shall I make If gems, or gold, impart a joy, Expressive of my duty ?

I'll give them—when I get 'em. My heart, a victim to thine eyes,

I'll give—but not the full-blown rose, Should I at once deliver,

Or rose-bud more in fashion ;
Say, would the angry fair one prize Such short lived offerings but disclose
The gift, who slights the giver?

A transitory passion.
I'll give thee something yet unpaid,

Not less sincere than civil :
I'll give thee—ah! too charming maid,

I'll give thee—to the devil.

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EPILOGUE TO “ THE SISTER."

SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY.

WHAT? five long acts-and all to make us wiser !
Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
Had she consulted me, she should have made
Her moral play a speaking masquerade ;
Warmed up each bustling scene, and in her rage
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking;
Have pleased our eyes, and saved the pain of thinking.
Well, since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade ?- I will.
But how ? ay, there's the rub! (pausing]- I've got my cue ;
The world's a masquerade ! the masquers, you, you, you.

[To Boxes, Pit, and Galliry.
Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses !
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses !
Statesmen with bridles on ; and, close beside 'em,
Patriots in partly-coloured suits that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turned of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore.
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen.
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman ;
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure.
Thus 'tis with all: their chief and constant care
Is to seem everything but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry spark I fix my eye on,
Who seems t' have robbed his vizor from the lion,
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round parade,
Looking, as who should say, Dam'me! who's afraid ? [Mimicking.
Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am
You'll find his lionship a very lamb.
Yon politician, famous in debate,
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state;
Yet, when he deigns his real shape t' assume,
He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems, to every gazer, all in white,
If with a bribe his candour you attack,
He bows, turns round, and whip- the man's a black !
Yon critic, too-but whither do I run ?
If I proceed, our bard will be undone !
Well, then, a truce, since she requests it too :
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.

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