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Weeping, murmuring, complaining,
Lost to every gay delight;Myra, too sincere for feigning,
Fears th' approaching bridal night.
Yet why impair thy bright perfection?
Or dim thy beauty with a tear?
Had Myra follow'd my direction,
She long had wanted cause of fear.
FROM THE ORATORIO OF THE CAPTIVITY.
The wretch, condemn'd with life to part,
Still, still on hope relies;
And every pang that rends the heart,
Bids expectation rise.
Hope, like the glimmering taper's light,
Adorns and cheers the way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray.
1 See The Bee, p. 94.
O Memory! thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain, To former joys, recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain;
Thou, like the world, the opprest oppressing,
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe!
And he who wants each other blessing,
In thee must ever find a foe.
A PROLOGUE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS,
A ROMAN KNIGHT, WHOM CESAR FORCKD UPON THE STAGE.
PRESERVED BY MACROBIOS.1
What! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw'd by power, and unappal'd by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear:
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more;
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Caesar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin'd to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shame,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
1 This translation was first printed in one of our Author's earliest works, ' The Present State of Learning in Europe,' 12mo. 1759.
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.2
1 See Macrobii Saturn, lib. ii. c. vii. p. 369. ed Zeunii. Goldsmith has translated, or rather imitated, only the first fifteen lines of the Prologus, ending—
'TJno plus vixi mihi quam vivendum fuit.'
I venture to add the remainder.
Too lavish still in good, or evil hour,
To show to man the empire of thy power,
If fortune, at thy wild impetuous sway,
The blossoms of my fame must drop away,
Then was the time the obedient plant to strain
When life was warm in every vigorous vein,
To mould young nature to thy plastic skill,
And bend my pliant boyhood to thy will.
So might I hope applauding crowds to hear,
Catch the quick smile, and His attentive ear.
But ah! for what hast thou reserv'd my age 1
Say, how can I expect the approving stage;
Fled is the bloom of youth—the manly air—
The vigorous mind that spurn'd at toil and care
Gone is the voice, whose clear and silver tone
The enraptur'd theatre would love to own.
As clasping ivy chokes the encumber'd tree,
So age with foul embrace has ruin'd me.
Thou, and the tomb, Laberius, art the same,
Empty within, what hast thou but a namet
PROLOGUE TO ZOBEIDE:
A TRAGEDY. WRITTEN BY JOSEPH CRADDOCK, ESQ. ACTED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN, MDCCLXXII. SPOKEN BY MR. QUICK.
In these bold times,when learning's sons explore
The distant climates, and the savage shore;
When wise astronomers to India steer,
And quit for Venus many a brighter here;
While botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling,
Forsake the fair, and patiently—go simpling,
Our bard into the general spirit enters,
And fits his little frigate for adventures.
With Scythian stores, and trinkets deeply laden,
He this way steers his course, in hopes of trading—
Yet ere he lands he has order'd me before
To make an observation on the shore.
Where are we driven? our reckoning sure is lost!
This seems a rocky and a dangerous coast.
Lord, what a sultry climate am I under!
Yon ill foreboding cloud seems big with thunder.
( Upper gallery.) There mangroves spread, and larger than I've seen
'em— (Pit.) Here trees of stately size—and billing turtles in