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Now seats their absent lords deplore,
Neglected villas empty stand,
Capacious Gro’venor gathers all its store,
And mighty London swallows up the land.
See sportive Vanity her flights begin,
See new-blown Folly's plenteous harvest rise,
See mimic beauties dye their skin,
And harlots roll their venal eyes.
Fashions are set, and fops return,
And young coquettes in arms appear ;
Dreaming of conquest, how their bosoms burn,
Trick'd in the new fantastry of the year.
Fly then away, nor scorn to bear a part
In this gay scene of folly amply spread :
Follies well us'd refine the heart,
And pleasures clear the studious head;
By grateful interchange of mirth
The toils of study sweeter grow,
As varying seasons recommend the earth,
Nor does Apollo always bend his bow.
SHA K E S P E A R’S WORK S.
HILE born to bring the Muse's happier days,
A patriot's hand protects a poet's lays :
While nurs’d by you she sees her myrtles bloom,
Green and unwither'd o'er his honour'd tomb:
Excuse her doubts, if yet she fears to tell
What secret transports in her bosom swell :
With conscious awe she hears the critic's fame,
And blushing hides her wreath at Shakespear's name.
Hard was the lot those injur'd strains endur'd,
Unown'd by Science, and by years obscur'd:
Fair Fancy wept; and echoing sighs confess’d
A fixt despair in every tuneful breast.
Not with more grief th' afflicted swains appear,
When wintry winds deform the plenteous year ;
When ling’ring frosts the ruin'd seats invade
Where Peace resorted, and the Graces play'd.
Each rising art by just gradation moves,
Toil builds on toil, and age on age improves :
The Muse alone unequal dealt her rage,
And grac'd with noblest pomp her earliest stage.
Preserv'd through time, the speaking scenes impare
Each changeful with of Phædra's tortur'd heart :
Or paint the curse that mark'd the Theban's reign,
A bed inceftuous, and a father flain.
With kind concern our pitying eyes o’erflow,
Trace the fad tale, and own another's woe.
To Rome remov'd, with wit secure to please,
The Comic fifters kept their native eafe.
With jealous fear declining Greece beheld
Her own Menander's art almost excell'd!
every Muse effay'd to raise in vain Some labour'd rival of her Tragic strain ; The Edipus of Sophocles.
llyffuso laurels, though transferr'd with toil, Droop'd their fair leaves, nor knew th’unfriendly foil.
As arts expir'd, resistlefs Dulness rose;
Goths, priests, or Vandals, -all were Learning's foes.
'Till Julius first recall’d each exild maid, .
And Cosmo own'd them in th' Etrurian fhade:
Then deeply skill'd in love's engaging theme,
The soft Provencial pass’d to Arno's stream:
With graceful ease the wanton lyre be ftrung,
Sweet flow'd the lays.-- but love was all he sung.
The gay description could not fail to move ;
For, led by nature, all are friends to love.
But heav'n, ftill various in its works, decreed
The perfect boast of time should last succeed.
The beauteous union muft appear at length,
Of Tuscan fancy, and Athenian ftrength:
One greater Muse Eliza's reign adorn,
And ev'n a Shakespear to her fame be born!
Yet ah! so bright her morning's opening ray,
In vain our Britain hop'd an equal day!
No fecond growth the western ise could bear,
At once exhausted with too rich a year.
Too nicely Johnson knew the critic's part;
Nature in him was almost loft in art.
Julius II. the immediate predecessor of Leo X.
Of softer mold the gentle Fletcher came,
The next in order, as the next in name.
With pleas'd attention ’midft his scenes we find
Each glowing thought, that warms the female mind;
Each melting sigh, and every
The lover's wishes and the virgin's fear.
His f every strain the Smiles and Graces own;
But stronger Shakespear felt for Man alone :
Drawn by his pen, our ruder passions stand
Th’unrival'd picture of his early hand.
& With gradual steps, and Now, exacter France
Saw Art's fair empire o'er her shores advance:
By length of toil a bright perfection knew,
Correctly bold, and just in all she drew.
'Till late Corneille, with Lucan's spirit fir'd,
Breath'd the free strain, as Rome and He inspir'd:
And classic judgment gain'd to sweet Racine
The temp'rate strength of Maro's chaster line.
f Their characters are thus distinguished by Dryden.
8 About the time of Shakespear, the poet Hardy was in great repute in France. He wrote, according to Fontenelle, fix hundred plays. The French poets after him applied themselves in general to the correct improvement of the stage, which was almost totally disregarded by those of our own country, Johnson excepted.
h The favourite author of the elder Corneille.