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DESIGNED FOR MR. D'URFEY'S LAST PLAY.
(From Pope and Swift's Miscellanies.)
[POOR TOM D'URFEY, who stood the force of so much wit, was a playwright and song-writer. He appears to have been an inoffensive, goodhumoured, thoughtless character, and was endured and laughed at by Dryden, and by Steele, who recommended his benefit nights to the attention of the public, through the medium of the Tatler and Guardian, and at length by Pope, who in a spirit betwixt contempt and charity, wrote a prologue for his last play.]-Sir Walter Scott.
GROWN old in rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard
Damnation follows death in other men,
But your damn'd poet lives and writes again.
Who strives to please the fair against her will :
Who in your own despite has strove to please ye.
But ever writ, as none e'er writ before.
You modern wits, should each man bring his claim,
And little would be left you, I'm afraid,
If all your debts to Greece and Rome were paid.
But 'tis substantial happiness, to EAT.
Let ease, his last request, be of your giving,
[This was the celebrated farce tripartite, in which Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot engaged, in order to ridicule Dr. Woodward, and which was most meritoriously damned at the first representation. See Cibber's Letter to Pope.]—Sir Walter Scott.
AUTHORS are judged by strange capricious rules;
The great ones are thought mad, the small ones fools:
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:
They pall Moliere's and Lopez' sprightly strain,
To fetch his fools and knaves from foreign climes.
any fool is by our satire bit,
Let him hiss loud, to show you all he's hit.
Poets make characters, as salesmen clothes;
And fit yourselves like chaps in Monmouth Street.
A common blessing! now 'tis yours, now mine.
To keep this cap for such as will, to wear.
Of course resign'd it to the next that writ),
OR, A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID'S METAMORPHOSES:
AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.
[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 work was intended to supersede the ancient translation.
George Sandys, the old translator, (whose ghost is introduced in the verses,) was a man of great accomplishment, and pronounced by Dryden to be the best versifier of his age. The curious reader will find many particulars respecting him, and his translation of Ovid, in the Censura Literaria, volumes 4th, 5th, and 6th. He died in 1643.]—Sir Walter Scott.
YE Lords and Commons, men of wit
And pleasure about town,
Read this, ere you translate one bit
Of books of high renown.
1 Shows a cap with ears.
2 Flings down the
Beware of Latin authors all,
Nor think your verses sterling,
Though with a golden pen you scrawl,
For not the desk with silver nails,
Nor bureau of expense,
Nor standish well japann'd, avails
Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
With saucer eyes of fire,
Rare imp of Phoebus, hopeful youth!
Ah! why did he write poetry,
A desk he had of curious work,
Now, as he scratch'd to fetch up thought,
All upright as a pin.
With whiskers, band, and pantaloon,
This 'squire he dropp'd his pen full soon,
Ho! master Sam, quoth Sandys' sprite,
I hear the beat of Jacob's' drums,
Then lords and lordlings, 'squires and knights, Wits, witlings, prigs, and peers :
Garth at St. James's, and at White's,
Beats up for volunteers.
What Fenton will not do, nor Gay,
Nor Congreve, Rowe, nor Stanyan,
Tom Burnet, or Tom D'Urfey may,
If justice Philips' costive head
Some frigid rhymes disburses: They shall like Persian tales be read, And glad both babes and nurses.
Let Warwick's Muse with Ash-t join,
Tickel and Addison combine,
And Pope translate with Jervas.
L- himself, that lively lord,
Old Jacob Tonson, the editor of the Metamorphoses. 2 Pembroke, probably.