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Now empress Fame had publish'd the renown
of Shadwell's coronation through the town.
Rouz'd by report of fame the nations meet,
from near Bunhill, and distant Watling-street.
No Persian carpets spread th' imperial way,
but scatter'd limbs of mangled poets lay:
from dusty shops neglected authors come,
martyrs of pies, and reliques of the bum.
Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby, there lay,
but loads of Shadwell almost chok'd the way.
Bilk'd stationers for yeomen stood prepar'd,
and Herringman was captain of the guard.
The hoary prince in majesty appear'd,
high on a throne of his own labours rear'd,
at his right hand our young Ascanius sate,
Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state.
His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace,
and lambent dulness play'd around his face.
As Hannibal did to the altars come,
swore by his sire, a mortal foe to Rome;
so Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain,
that he till death true dulness would maintain :
and in his father's right, and realm's defence,
ne'er to have peace with wit nor truce with sense.
The king himself the sacred unction made,
as king by office, and as priest by trade.
In his sinister hand, instead of ball,
he plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale;
Love's kingdom to his right he did convey,
at once his sceptre, and his rule of sway,
whose righteous lore the prince had practis'd young
and from whose loins recorded Pysche sprung.
His temples, last, with poppies were o'erspread,
that nodding seem'd to consecrate his head.
Just at the point of time, if fame not lie,
on his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly.
So Romulus, 't is sung, by Tyber's brook,
presage of sway from twice six vultures took.
Th' admiring throng loud acclamations make,
and omens of his future empire take.
The sire then shook the honours of his head, and from his brows damps of oblivion shed full on the filial dulness; long he stood, repelling from his breast the raging God; at length burst out in this prophetic mood. 'Heavens bless my son! from Ireland let him reign to far Barbadoes on the western main;
of his dominion may no end be known,
and greater than his father's be his throne;
beyond Love's kingdom let him stretch his
He paus'd and all the people cry'd, Amen!
Then thus continued he: My son, advance.
still in new impudence, new ignorance.
Success let others teach, learn thou from me
pangs without births, and fruitless industry.
Let virtuosos in five years be writ;
yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit.
Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage,
make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage:
let Gully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit,
and in their folly shew the writer's wit.
Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence,
and justify their author's want of sense.
Let them be all by thy own model made
of dulness, and desire no foreign aid;
that they to future ages may be known,
not copies drawn, but issue of thy own.
Nay, let thy men of wit too be the same,
all full of thee, and differing but in name. But let no alien Sedley interpose,
to lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose.
And when false flowers of rhetoric thou wouldst cull, trust nature, do not labour to be dull;
but write thy best, and top; and, in each line,
Sir Formal's oratory will be thine:
Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, and does thy northern dedications fill.
Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, by arrogating Jonson's hostile name.
Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise, and uncle Ogleby thy envy
Thou art my blood, where Jonson had no part: what share have we in nature or in art?
Where did his wit on learning fix a brand,
and rail at arts he did not understand?
Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein,
or swept the dust in Pysche's humble strain?
where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my a—e,
promis'd a play, and dwindled to a farce?
When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin,
as thou whole Etherage did transfuse to thine?
but so transfus'd, as oil and waters flow,
bis always floats above, thine sinks below.
This is thy province, this thy wondrous way,
new humours to invent for each new play;
this is that boasted bias of thy mind,
by which, one way, to dulness 't is inclin'd;
which makes thy writings lean on one side still,
and, in all changes, that way bends thy will.
Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence
of likeness; thine 's a tympany of sense.
A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ,
but sure thou 'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep;
thy tragic Muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep.
With whate'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write,
thy inoffensive satires never bite.
In thy felonious heart though venom lies,
it does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies.
Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame
in keen iambics, but mild anagram.
Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command, some peaceful province in acrostic land.
There thou mayst wings display and altars raise, and torture one poor word ten thousand ways. Or if thou wouldst thy different talents suit, set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute." He said; but his last words where scarcely heard: for Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepar'd, and down they sent the yet declaiming bard. Sinking, he left his drugget robe behind, borne upwards by a subterranean wind. The mantle fell to the young prophet's part, with double portion of his father's heart.
To the pious memory of the accomplished young Lady
MRS. ANNE KILLIGREW.
EXCELLENT IN THE TWO SISTER-ARTS OF POESY AND
Thou brightest virgin-daughter of the skies,
made in the last promotion of the blest;
whose palms, new pluck'd from paradise,
in spreading branches more sublimely rise,
rich with immortal green above the rest:
whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
thou roll'st above us, in thy wand'ring race,
or, in procession fix'd and regular,
mov'd with the heaven's majestic pace;
or, call'd to more superior bliss,
thou treadst, with seraphims, the vast abyss:
whatever happy region is thy place,
cease thy celestial song a little space;
thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
since heaven's eternal year is thine.
Hear then a mortal Muse thy praise rehearse,
in no ignoble verse;
but such as thy own voice did practise here,
when thy first fruits of Poesy were given ;
to make thyself a welcome inmate there:
while yet a young probationer,
and candidate of heaven.
If by traduction came thy mind,
our wonder is the less to find
a soul so charming from a stock so good;
thy father was transfus'd into thy blood:
so wert thou born into a tuneful strain,
an early, rich, and inexhausted vein.
But if thy pre-existing soul
was form'd, at first, with myriads more, it did through all the mighty poets roll,
who Greek or Latin laurels wore,
and was that Sappho last, which once it was before. If so, then cease thy flight, O heaven-born mind! thou hast no dross to purge from thy rich ore: nor can thy soul a fairer mansion find,
than was the beauteous frame she left behind: return to fill or mend the choir of thy celestial kind. May we presume to say, that, at thy birth, [earth; joy was sprung in heaven, as well as here on