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So may your midnight scowrings happy prove,
urge what by themselves has oft been said:
appear, We hope we may presume their wits are here. The best which they reserv’d they now will play, For, like kind cuckolds, tho w'have not the
way To please, we'll find you abler men who may. If they Mould fail, for last recruits we breed A troop of frisking Monsieurs to succeed: You know the French fure cards at time of need.
OETS, your subjects, have their parts assign'd
T’unbend, and to divert their sov’reign's mind:
the little world, before you fet,
your inind: Content to see, and thun, those ills we show, And crimes on theatres alone to know.
If to your
you can fuit
With joy we bring what our dead authors writ,
them fame. None of our living poets dare appear ; For muses so severe are worshipp'd here, That, conscious of their faults, they shun the eye, And, as prophane, from facred places fly, Rather than see the offended God, and die: We bring no imperfections, but our own ; Such faults as made are by the makers shown: And you have been so kind, that we may boast, The greatest judges still can pardon most. Poets must stoop, when they would please our pit, Debas'd even to the level of their wit ; Disdaining that, which yet they know will take, Hating themselves what their applause must make. But when to praise from you they would aspire, Tho they like eagles mount, your Jove is higher. So far your knowlege all their power transcends, As what should be beyond what is extends.
PROLOGUE to CIR C E.
[By Dr. DAVENANT, 1675.]
but half so wise as you're severe, Our youthful poet should not need to fear: To his green years your censures you would suit, Not blast the blossom, but expect the fruit, The fex, that best does pleasure understand, Will always choose to err on t'other hand. They check not him that's aukward in delight, But clap the young rogue's cheek, and set him
right. Thus hearten'd well, and Aleth'd upon
prey; The youth may prove a man another day. Your Ben and Fletcher, in their first young flight, Did no Volpone, nor no Arbaces write ; But hopp'd about, and short excursions made From bough to bough, as if they were afraid, And each was guilty of some Nighted maid. Shakespear's own muse her Pericles first bore; The prince of Tyre was elder than the Moore: 'Tis miracle to see a first good play; All hawthorns do not bloomi on Christmas-day.
A sender poet must have time to grow,
As Jupiter I made my court in vain ; l'il now aflume
native shape again,