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What tho he be not come to his full
He's mending and improving every hour.
You fly, she-jockies of the box and pit,
Are pleas'd to find a hot unbroken wit :
By management he may in time be made,
But there's no hopes of an old batter'd jade ;
Faint and unnerv'd he runs into a sweat,
And always fails you at the second heat.
UNIVERSITY of OXFORD, 1681.
'HEfam'd Italian muse, whose rhimes advance
Orlando, and the Paladins of France, Records, that, when our wit and sense is flown, 'Tis lodg’d within the circle of the moon, In earthen jars, which one, who thither foar'd, Set to his nose, snuff'd
and was restor'd. Whate'er the story be, the moral's true ; The wit we lost in town, we find in
you. Our poets their fled parts may draw from hence, And fill their windy heads withi sober sense.
When London votes with Southwark's disagree,
Here may they find their long-lost loyalty.
Here busy senates, to th'old cause inclin'd,
May snuff the votes their fellows left behind :
Your country neighbors, when their grain grows
May come, and find their last provision here :
Whereas we cannot much lament our loss,
Who neither carry'd back, nor brought one cross.
We look'd what representatives would bring;
But they help'd us, just as they did the king.
Yet we despair not ; for we now lay forth
The Sibyls books to those who know their worth;
And tho the first was sacrific'd before,
These volumes doubly will the price restore.
Our poet bade us hope this grace to find,
To whom by long prescription you are kind.
He, whose undaunted Muse, with loyal rage,
Has never spar’d the vices of the age,
Here finding nothing that his spleen can raise,
Is forc'd to turn his fatire into praise.
First Appearance at the Duke's THEATRE,
after his Return from ScoTLAND, 1682.
N those cold regions which no summers chear,
Where brooding darkness covers half the year,
To hollow caves the shiv'ring natives go ;
Bears range abroad, and hunt in tracks of snow :
But when the tedious twilight wears away,
And stars grow paler at th' approach of day,
The longing crowds to frozen mountains run ;
Happy who first can see the glimmering sun:
The surly favage offspring disappear,
And curse the bright successor of the year.
Yet, tho rough bears in covert seek defence,
White foxes stay, with seeming innocence:
That crafty kind with day-light can dispense.
Still we are throng'd so full with Reynard's race,
That loyal subjects scarce can find a place :
Thus modest truth is caft behind the croud:
Truth speaks too low; hypocrify too loud.
Let them be first to flatter in success;
Duty can stay, but guilt has need to press.
Once, when true zeal the sons of God did call,
To make their solemn shew at heaven's Whitehall,
The fawning devil appear’d among the rest,
And made as good a courtier as the best.
The friends of Job, who rail'd at him before,
in hand when he had three times more,
Yet late repentance may, perhaps, be true ;
Kings can forgive, if rebels can but sue ;
A tyrant's power in rigor is exprest;
The father yearns in the true prince's breast.
We grant, an o'ergrown Whig no grace can mend;
But most are babes, that know not they offend.
The croud, to restless motion still inclin'd,
Are clouds, that tack according to the wind.
Driven by their chiefs they storms of hailstones
pour; Then mourn, and foften to a silent shower. O welcome to this much-offending land, The prince that brings forgiveness in his hand ! Thus angels on glad messages appear: Their first salute commands us not to fear : Thus heaven, that could constrain us to obey, (With rev’rence if we might presume to say) Seems to relax the rights of lov’reign sway :
Permits to man the choice of good and ill,
And makes us happy by our own free-will.
PROLOGUE to the Earl of Essex.
Spoken to the King and the Queen at their
coming to the House.
HEN first the ark was landed on the Thore,
And heaven had vow'd to curse the ground
When tops of hills the longing patriarch saw,
And the new scene of earth began to draw;
The dove was sent to view the waves decrease,
And first brought back to man the pledge of peace.
'Tis needless to apply, when those appear,
Who bring the olive, and who plant it here.
We have before our eyes the royal dove,
Still innocent as harbinger of love :
The ark is open'd to dismiss the train,
And people with a better race the plain.