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The father had defcended for the fon;
For only you are lineal to the throne.
Thus, when the state one Edward did depose,
A greater Edward in his room arose.

But now, not I, but poetry is curs'd;

For Tom the second reigns like Tom the first.
But let them not mistake my patron's part,
Nor call his charity their own defert.
Yet this I prophefy; thou shalt be seen,
(Tho with some short parenthesis between)
High on the throne of wit, and, feated there,
Not mine, that's little, but thy laurel wear.
Thy first attempt an early promise made;
That early promise this has more than paid.
So bold, yet fo judiciously you dare,

That your least praise is to be regular.
Time, place, and action, may with pains be wrought;
But genius must be born, and never can be taught.
This is your portion; this native store;

Heaven, that but once was prodigal before,
To Shakespear gave as much; fhe could not
give him more.

Maintain your post: That's all the fame you


For 'tis impoffible you

fhould proceed.

Already I am worn with cares and age,
And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage:
Unprofitably kept at heaven's expence,
I live a rent-charge on his providence:
But you, whom every muse and
muse and grace adorn,
Whom I forefee to better fortune born,
Be kind to my remains; and O defend,
Against your judgment, your departed friend!
Let not th'infulting foe my fame pursue,

But fhade thofe laurels which defcend to you :
And take for tribute what these lines express:
You merit more; nor could my love do lefs.

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Excellent Tragedy call'd, HEROIC LOVE.

Aufpicious poet, wert thou not my friend,

How could I envy, what I must commend!

But fince 'tis nature's law in love and wit,
That youth should reign, and withering age fubmit,

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With less regret those laurels I refign,
Which, dying on my brows, revive on thine.
With better grace an ancient chief may yield
The long contended honors of the field,
Than venture all his fortune at a caft,
And fight, like Hannibal, to lose at last.
Young princes, obftinate to win the prize,
Tho yearly beaten, yearly yet they rife:
Old monarchs, tho fuccessful, ftill in doubt,
Catch at a peace, and wifely turn devout.
Thine be the laurel then; thy blooming age
Can best, if any can, fupport the stage;
Which fo declines, that fhortly we may fee
Players and plays reduc'd to second infancy.
Sharp to the world, but thoughtless of renown,
They plot not on the stage, but on the town,
And, in despair their empty pit to fill,
Set up
fome foreign monster in a bill.

Thus they jog on, ftill tricking, never thriving,
And murd'ring plays, which they miscal reviving.
Our fenfe is nonsense, thro their pipes convey'd ;
Scarce can a poet know the play he made
'Tis fo difguis'd in death; nor thinks 'tis he
That suffers in the mangled tragedy.


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Thus Itys firft was kill'd, and after drefs'd
For his own fire, the chief invited guest.
I fay not this of thy fuccessful scenes,
Where thine was all the glory, theirs the gains.
With length of time, much judgment, and more toil,
Not ill they acted, what they could not spoil.
Their setting-fun still shoots a glimmering ray,
Like ancient Rome, majestic in decay:
And better gleanings their worn foil can boast,
Than the crab-vintage of the neighb'ring coaft.
This diff'rence yet the judging world will fee;
Thou copiest Homer, and they copy

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IS hard, my friend, to write in fuch an age,
As damns, not only poets, but the stage.
That facred art, by heaven itself infus'd,
Which Mofes, David, Solomon have us'd,

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Is now to be no more: the mufes' foes
Would fink their Maker's praises into profe.
Were they content to prune the lavish vine
Of ftraggling branches, and improve the wine,
Who, but a madman, would his thoughts defend?
All would fubmit; for all but fools will mend.
But when to common fenfe they give the lye,
And turn distorted words to blafphemy.
They give the scandal; and the wife difcern,
Their gloffes teach an age, too apt to learn.
What I have loosely, or prophanely, writ,
Let them to fires, their due defert, commit:
Nor, when accus'd by me, let them complain :
Their faults, and not their function, I arraign.
Rebellion, worse than witchcraft, they purfu'd;
The pulpit preach'd the crime, the people ru'd.
The stage was filenc'd; for the faints would fee
In fields perform'd their plotted tragedy,
But let us firft reform, and then fo live,
That we may teach our teachers to forgive:
Our defk be plac'd below their lofty chairs;
Ours be the practice, as the precept theirs.
The moral part, at leaft, we may divide,
Humility reward, and punish pride;


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