I Beyond the merit of the Age You have adorn’d the Stage So from rude farce to Comick order brought Each action and each thought 5 To so sublime a Method as yet none But mighty Ben alone Durst ere compare, and he at distance too; Were he alive, he would resign to you. Thou hast outdone even what He writ, 10 In this last great Example of thy wit. Thy Solymour does his Morose destroy, And thy Black Page undoes his Barbers Boy: His whole College of Ladies must retire Whilst we thy braver Heroins do admire. 15 This New Utopia rais’d by thee Shall stand a Structure to be wonder’d at, And men shall say this! this is he Who that Poetick City did create, Of which Moor only did the Model draw. 20 You did compleat that little world, and gave it Law. II If you too great a Prospect do allow To those whom ignorance do at distance seat ’Tis not to say the object is less great, But they want sight to apprehend it so; 25 The Antient Poets in their times When through the Peopled Streets they sung their Rhimes, Found small applause, they sang, but still were poor, Repeated wit enough at every door To’ve made them Demy Gods, but ‘twould not do 430 Till Ages more refin’d esteem’d them so: The Modern Poets have with like success Quitted the Stage, and salli’d from the Press. Great Johnson scarce a Play brought forth But Monster-like it frighted at its birth; 35 Yet he continu’d still to write And still his Satyre did more sharply bite. He writ though certain of his doom (Knowing his Power in Comedy) To please a wiser Age to come; 40 And though he weapons wore to justifie The reason of his Pen; he could not bring Dull souls to sence by Satyre nor by Cudgelling. IIII In vain the errors of the times You strive by wholsome precepts to confute. 45 Not all your power in Prose nor Rhimes Can finish the dispute, ’Twixt those that damn, and those that do admire The heat of your Poetick fire: Your soul of thought you may imploy 50 A nobler way Than in revenge upon a multitude, Whose ignorance only make them rude: Should you that justice do You must for ever bid adieu, 55 To Poetry Divine, And every Muse o’th’ nine; For malice then with ignorance would joyn And so undo the world and you And Ravish from them that delight 60 Of seeing the wonders which you write; And all your glories, unadmir’d must lye, As Vestal beauties are intomb’d before they dye. <target id="page_5" target-type="page">5</target>IV Consider, and consult your wit Despise those Ills you must endure; 65 And raise your scorn as great as it, Be confident, and then secure: And let your rich fraught Pen Adventure out again, Maugre the storms which do oppose its course 70 (Storms which destroy without remorse:) It may new worlds descry, Which peopl’d from thy brain may know More than the Universe besides can show; More Arts of Love, and more of Gallantry: 75 Write on, and let not after Ages say The Whistle, and rude Hiss could lay, Thy mighty Sprite of Poetry, Which but the Fools and guilty fly; Who dare not in thy Mirror see, 80 Their own deformitie. Where thou in two, the world dost Character, Since most of men Sir Graves, or Peacocks are. V And shall that Muse which did erewhile Chant forth the glories of the Brittish Isle, 85 Shall she who louder was than fame Now useless lye, and tame? She who late made the Amazons so great And she who conquer’d Scythia too Which Alexander ne’er could do; 90 Will you permit her to retreat? Silence will like submission show And give advantage to the foe. Undaunted let her once again appear And let her lowdly sing in every eare; 95 Then like thy Mistress eyes who have the skill Both to preserve and kill; So thou at once must be reveng’d on those That are thy foes; And on thy Friends such obligations lay 100 As nothing but the deed, the doer can repay.