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SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OF DRURY-LANE THEÁTRE, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1812.
In one dread night our city saw, and sigh'd,
Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn'd, Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd!) Through clouds of fire, the massy fragments riven, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Saw the long column of revolving flames Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames, While thousands, throng'd around the burning dome, Shrank back appall'd, and trembled for their home, As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall; Say-shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, Rear'd where once rose the mightiest in our isle, Know the same favour which the former knew, A shrine for Shakspeare-worthy him and you?
Yes-it shall be-the magic of that name
As soars this fane to emulate the last,
! might we draw our omens from the past, me hour propitious to our prayers may boast mes such as hallow still the dome we lost.
Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art
rwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart. Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew;
e your last tears retiring Roscius drew,
h'd his last thanks, and wept his last adieu:
Dear are the days which made our annals bright, Garrick fled, or Brinsley ceased to write. rs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, n of our ancestry as they of theirs;
While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glass
Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and
Must sue alike for pardon, or for praise,
This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, The Drama's homage by her herald paid, Receive our welcome too, whose every tone
Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own.
he curtain rises-may our stage unfold cenes not unworthy Drury's days of old! ritons our judges, Nature for our guide,
till may we please-long, long may you preside!
TIME! on whose arbitrary wing
Those boons to all that know thee known;
Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share
It felt, but still forgot thy power: