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Calm ev'ry thought, infpirit ev'ry grace,
VER. 15. Originally thus in the MS.
And oh fince Death must that fair frame destroy,
In fome foft dream may thy mild foul remove,
TO MR. THOMAS SOUTHERN,
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, 1742.
RESIGN'D to live, prepar'd to die,
With not one fin, but Poetry, This day Toм's fair account has run (Without a blot) to eighty-one.
Kind Boyle, before his poet, lays
A table, with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of fweet fingers,
Presents her harp ftill to his fingers.
VER. 3. This Day Tom's] This amiable writer lived the longest, and died one of the richest, of all our poets. In 1737, Mr. Gray, writing to a friend, fays very agreeably, "We have here old Mr. Southern, who often comes to fee us; he is now feventyseven years old, and has almost wholly lost his memory; but is as agreeable an old man as can be, at least I persuade myself so, when I look at him, and think of Isabella and Oroonoko." He was certainly a great mafter of the pathetic; and in the latter part of his life became fenfible of the impropriety he had been guilty of in mixing Tragedy with Comedy. He was the first play-writer that had the benefit of a third night. He told Dryden that he once had cleared feven hundred pounds by one of his plays.
VER. 6. A table,] Mr. Southern was invited to dine on his birthday with this nobleman, (Lord Orrery), who had prepared for him the entertainment of which the bill of fare is here fet down.
VER. 8. Prefents her harp] The harp is generally wove on the Irish linen; fuch as table cloths, &c.
The feast, his tow'ring genius marks
May Toм, whom heav'n sent down to raise
Be ev'ry birth-day more a winner,
Walk to his grave without reproach,
VER. 16. The price of prologues and of plays,] This alludes to a story Mr. Southern told of Dryden, about the fame time, to Mr. P. and Mr. W.-When Southern firft wrote for the stage, Dryden was fo famous for his prologues, that the players would act nothing without that decoration. His ufual price till then had been four guineas; but when Southern came to him for the prologue he had bespoke, Dryden told him he muft have fix guineas for it; "which (faid he) young man, is out of no disrespect to you, but the players have had my goods too cheap."-We now look upon thefe prologues with the fame admiration that the virtuofi do on the apothecaries pots painted by Raphael.
ROXANA, OR THE DRAWING-ROOM.
OXANA from the court returning late,
Sigh'd her foft forrow at St. James's gate : Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breast; Not her own chairmen with more weight opprest: They curse the cruel weight they're doom'd to bear; She in more gentle founds exprefs'd her care.
Was it for this, that I these roses wear?
This King, I never could attend too foon;
Alas, how chang'd! with this fame fermon-mien,
When bloom and beauty bid me fhow my face,
Oft had your drawing-room been fadly thin,
And fav'd your Highness from the dire disgrace:
When all my duty and my merit fails :
That Cockatilla, whofe deluding airs