페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Is not the wretch (still trembling for his store)
Pleased when he grasps a glittering thousand

more?
Cheers not the mariner propitious seas ?
Likes not the lawyer to be handling fees?
Lives not the lover but in hopes of bliss ?
To every question we'll reply with—Yes.

Suppose them gratified-their full delight
Falls short of ours on this auspicious night;
When rich in happiness-in hopes elate,
Taste has received us to our favourite seat.

O that the soul of action were but ours, And the vast energy of vocal powers ! That we might make a grateful offering, fit For these kind judges that in candour sit.

Before such judges, we confess, with dread, These new dominions we presume to tread; Yet if you smile, we'll boldly do our best, And leave your favours to supply the rest.

TO "THE MUSE OF OSSIAN.'
A PIECE ADAPTED TO THE STAGE FROM OSSIAN'S

POEMS. 1763.
To form a little work of nervous merit,
To give the sleepy stage a nobler spirit;
To touch a sacred muse, and not defile her,
This was the plan proposed by our compiler.
Though Caution told him the presumption's

glaring! Dauntless, he cried ;It is but nobly daring!

N 2

[ocr errors]

Can we peruse a pathos more than Attic,
Nor wish the golden measure stamp'd dramatic!
Here are no lines—in measured pace that trip it,
No modern scenes -so lifeless ! so insipid !
Wrought by a muse-(no sacred fire debarr'd

her) 'Tis nervous! noble! 'tis true northern ardour!

Methinks I hear the Grecian bards exclaiming (The Grecian bards no longer worth the naming), In song, the northern tribes so far surpass us, One of their Highland hills they'll call Parnassus; And from the sacred mount decrees should follow, That Ossian was himself—the true Apollo.'

Spite of this flash-this high poetic fury, He trembles for the verdict of his jury : As from his text he ne'er presumed to wander, But gives the native Ossian to your candour, To an impartial judgment we submit him, Condemn-or rather (if you can) acquit him.

TO RULE A WIFE.'

SPOKEN AT EDINBURGH.

'Tis an odd portrait that the poet drew; A strange irregular he sets in view ! ’Mongst us—thank Heaven—the cliaracter's un

known (Bards have creative faculties we own), And this appears a picture from his brain, Till we reflect-the lady lived in Spain.

Should we the portrait with the sex compare, 'Twould add new honours to the northern fair;

Their merit's by the foil conspicuous made, And they seem brighter from contrasting shade.

Rude were the rules our fathers form’d of old, Nor should such antiquated maxims hold. Shall subject man assert superior sway, And dare to bid the angel sex obey? Or if permitted to partake the throne, Despotic, call the reins of power his own? Forbid it, all that 's gracious—that's polite! (The Fair to liberty have equal right) Nor

urge the tenet, though from Fletcher's school, That

every husband has a right to rule. A matrimonial medium may be hit, Where neither governs, but where both submit.

The nuptial torch with decent brightness burns, Where male and female condescend by turns; Change then the phrase, the horrid text amend, And let the word obey-be condescend!

SPOKEN BY MR. DIGGES, ON OPENING THE EDINBURGH THEATRE

IN 1763.

To rectify some errors that of late
Had crept into the bosom of our state;
To court Propriety, a matron chaste !
To make strong leagues 'twixt Novelty and Taste;
To alter-to adopt—to plan-revive,
To spare no pains to make the drama thrive;
These are the labours that to-night commence,
By Beauty' sanction’d, and approved by Sense ?.

1 The Boxes.

2 The Pit.

Suppose some Corydon—some country swain,
Enamour'd of some Phillis of the plain,
At early dawn should seek the dappled glade,
To form a nosegay for the favourite maid;
When he had cropp'd the beauties of the banks,
And culld the fairest from the flowery ranks,
He'd range in order every blooming sweet,
And lay the little chaplet at her feet.

So the fair fields of Fancy we'll explore,
And search the gardens of dramatic lore,
Of choicest fragrance and of various hue,
To form those chaplets we compose for you.

Now to attack you in a martial strain !
We hope to gather laurels this campaign;
And that our plan of action may succeed,
Have march'd fresh forces from beyond the

Tweed. Yet, as young soldiers may be damp'd by fear (Though universal patronage be here), Let me bespeak, before the curtain rise, Some kind impressions for our new supplies.

SPOKEN AT EDINBURGH,

ON MRS. BELLAMY'S FIRST APPEARANCE THERE.

In early days, when Error sway'd mankind,
The scene was censured and the stage confined:
As the fine arts a nobler taste supplied,
Old Prejudice grew fainter-droop'd-and died.

Merit from sanction must deduce her date,
If she'd arrive at a meridian height:

From sanction is the English stage become
Equal to Athens, and above old Rome.

If from that stage an actress, fill'd with fears,
New to this northern scene, to-night appears,
Intent-howe'er unequal to the flight,
To hit—what critics call—the “ happy right:'
She builds not on your sister's : fond applause,
But timidly to you submits her cause:
For Taste refined may as judicial sit
Here- -as she found her in an English pit.

Your plaudit must remove the stranger's fear; The sons of genius are the least severe. Some favour from the fair she's sure to find; So sweet a circle cannot but be kind. Then to your candid patronage she'll trust, And hopes you gracious—as we know you just.

ON REVIVING

• THE MERCHANT OF VENICE,'

AT THE TIME A BILL HAD PASSED FOR NATURALIZING THE

JEWS.

'Twixt the sons of the stage, without pensions

or places, And the vagabond Jews, are some similar cases ; Since time out of mind, or they're wrong'd much by slander,

[wander: Both lawless, alike, have been sentenced to Then, faith, 'tis full time we appeal to the nation, To be join’d in this bill for na-tu-ra-li-za-ti-on ; Lard, that word's so uncouth!-'tis so irksome to speak it!

[take it. But 'tis Hebrew, I believe, and that's taste, as I

! London,

« 이전계속 »