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Adieu to all but Gay alone,
Whose soul, sincere and free, Loves all mankind, but flatters none,
And so may starve with me.
PROLOGUE, DESIGNED FOR MR. D'URFEY'S
Grown old in rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard
debts to Greece and Rome were paid. From this deep fund our author largely draws, Nor sinks his credit lower than it was. Though plays for honour in old time he made, "Tis now for better reasons—to be paid. Believe him, he has known the world too long, And seen the death of much immortal song.
He says, poor poets lost, while players won,
PROLOGUE TO THE “ THREE HOURS AFTER
AUTHORS are judg'd by strange capricious rules; The great ones are thought mad, the small ones
fools : Yet sure the best are most severely fated; For fools are only laugh'd at, wits are hated. Blockheads with reason men of sense abhor; But fool 'gainst fool, is barbarous civil war, Why on all others then should critics fall ? Since some have writ, and shown no wit at all. Condemn a play of theirs, and they evade it; Cry,“ Damn not us, but damn the French, who
made it." By running goods these graceless owlers gain; Theirs are the rules of France, the plots of Spain;
See Memoir prefixed to these volumes, p. lxi.
But wit, like wine, from happier climates brought, Dash'd by these rogues, turns English common
draught. They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain, And teach dull harlequins to grin in vain.
How shall our author hope a gentler fate, Who dares most impudently not translate ? It had been civil, in these ticklish times, To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes. Spaniards and French abuse to the world's end, But spare old England, lest you hurt a friend. If
any fool is by our satire bit, Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit. Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes ; We take no measure of your fops and beaux; But here all sizes and all shapes you meet, And fit yourselves like chaps in Monmouth Street.
Gallants, look here ! this fool's cap2 has an air, Goodly and smart, with ears of Issachar. Let no one fool engross it, or confine A common blessing! now 'tis yours, now mine. But poets in all ages had the care To keep this cap for such as will, to wear. Our author has it now (for every wit Of course resign'd it to the next that writ) And thus upon the stage 'tis fairly thrown ;3 Let him that takes it wear it as his own.
SANDYS' GHOST ;
OR, A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID's
METAMORPHOSES: AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED
BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.?
Ye Lords and Commons, men of wit
And pleasure about town,
Of books of high renown.
Nor think your verses sterling,
And scribble in a Berlin :
Nor bureau of expense,
To writing of good sense. i George Sandys, the old, and as yet unequalled, translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
A note prefixed to this poem in Roscoe's ed. of Pope's Works informs us that “ Sir Samuel Garth, who published the Metamorphoses of Ovid, translated by Dryden, Addison, Garth, 'Mainwaring, Congreve, Rowe, Pope, Gay, Eusden, Croxal, and other eminent hands,'had himself no other share in the undertaking, than engaging the various translators in their task, and putting their labours into some order.” The fact is, Sir Samuel translated the whole of the 14th Book, and the story of Cippus in the 15th Book of the Metamorphoses.
Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
With saucer eyes of fire,
A wit and courtly 'squire.
Like puppy tame, that uses
The works of all the Muses. Ah! why did he write poetry,
That hereto was so civil ;
To rhyming and the devil ?
With glittering studs about ;
Though Ovid lay without. Now, as he scratch'd to fetch up thought,
Forth popp'd the sprite so thin,
All upright as a pin.
And ruff compos'd most duly,
While as the light burnt bluely.
Write on, nor let me scare ye !
To Budgell seek or Carey.