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TO MRS. M. B.*


H be thou bleft with all that Heav'n can fend,


Long Health, long Youth, long Pleasure, and

a Friend:

Not with thofe Toys the female world admire,
Riches that vex, and Vanities that tire.
With added years if Life bring nothing new,
But like a Sieve let ev'ry bleffing through,
Some joy ftill loft, as each vain year runs o'er,
And all we gain, fome fad Reflection more;
Is that a Birth-day? 'tis alas! too clear,
'Tis but the Fun'ral of the former year.

Let Joy or Eafe, let Affluence or Content, And the gay Confcience of a life well spent,



*Martha Blount.



VER. 10. 'Tis but the Fun'ral] Immediately after this line

were these four following, in the original:

"If there's no hope, with kind, tho' fainter ray,

To gild the evening of our future day;

If every page of life's long volume tell

The fame dull ftory, Mordaunt, thou didst well!”

Colonel Mordaunt, who deftroyed himself, though not under the preffure of any ill or misfortune.


Calm ev'ry thought, inspirit ev'ry grace,
Glow in thy heart, and fmile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a Pain, a Trouble, or a Fear;
Till Death unfelt that tender frame destroy,
In fome foft Dream, or Extasy of Joy,
Peaceful fleep out the Sabbath of the Tomb,
And wake to Raptures in a Life to come.


VER. 15. Originally thus in the MS.

And oh fince Death muft that fair frame deftroy,
Die, by fome fudden extafy of Joy;

In fome foft dream may thy mild foul remove,
And be thy latest gafp a figh of Love.

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RESIGN'D to live, prepar❜d to die,

With not one fin, but Poetry,
This day Tom'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 feventyfeven years old, and has almost wholly loft his memory; but is as agreeable an old man as can be, at least I perfuade myself so, when I look at him, and think of Ifabella and Oroonoko." He was certainly a great master 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 firft 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. WARBURTON.

VER. S. Prefents her Harp] The Harp is generally wove on the Irish linen; fuch as table-cloths, &c. WARBURTON.

The feast, his tow'ring genius marks

In yonder wild goofe and the larks!


The mushrooms fhew his wit was fudden

And for his judgment, lo a pudden !

Roast beef, tho' old, proclaims him stout,
And grace, altho' a bard, devout.

May Toм, whom heav'n fent down to raise
The price of Prologues and of Plays,

Be ev'ry birth-day more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thoufandth dinner;
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And fcorn a rafcal in a coach.




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 befpoke, Dryden told him he must 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. WARBURTON.




OXANA from the court returning late,

Sigh'd her foft forrow at St. James's gate: Such heavy thoughts lay brooding in her breaft ; Not her own chairmen with more weight oppreft: They curfe 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?
For this, new-fet the jewels for my hair?
Ah Princess! with what zeal have I purfu'd?
Almost forgot the duty of a prude.

This King, I never could attend too foon;

I miss'd my pray❜rs, to get me dress'd by noon.
For thee, ah! what for thee did I refign?
My paffions, pleasures, all that e'er was mine:
I've facrific'd both modesty and ease;
Left operas, and went to filthy plays:
Double entendres fhock'd my tender ear;
Yet even this, for thee, I chufe to bear:
In glowing youth, when nature bids be gay,
And ev'ry joy of life before me lay;

By honour prompted, and by pride restrain'd,
The pleasures of the young my foul difdain'd:

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