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How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung,
To Mr. Addison's Tragedy of Cato.
wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; To make mankind in conscious virtue bold, Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold: For this the Tragic Muse first trod the stage, Commanding tears to stream through every age; Tyrants no more their savage
ure kept, And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept. Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move The hero's glory, or the virgin's love; In pitying love, we but our weakness show, And wild ambition well deserves its woe. Here tears shall flow from a more generous cause, Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws: He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise, And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes. Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws, What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was : No common object to your sight displays, But what with pleasure Heaven itself surveys,
A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,
Britons, attend: be worth like this approv'd, And show, you have the virtue to be mov'd. With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdued Your scene precariously subsists too long On French translation, and Italian song. Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage, Be justly warm'd with your own native rage: Such plays alone should win a British ear, As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
TO MR. ROWE'S JANE SHORE.
Designed for Mrs. Oldfield.
PRODIGIOUS this! the frail-one of our play
From her own sex should mercy find to-day ! You might have held the pretty head aside, Peep'd in your fans, been serious, thus, and cried, • The play may pass--but that strange creature,
There are, 'tis true, who tell another tale,
sinners. Well, if our author in the wife offends, He has a husband that will make amends: He draws him gentle, tender, and forgiving, And sure such kind good creatures may be living. In days of old they pardon'd breach of vows, Stern Cato's self was no relentless spouse: Plu...Plutarch, what's his name, that writes his life? Tells us, that Cato dearly lov'd his wife: Yet if a friend, a night or so, should need her, He'd recommend her as a special breeder. To lend a wife, few here would scruple make; But, pray, which of you all would take her back? Though with the stoic chief our stage may ring, The stoic husband was the glorious tbing. The man had courage, was a sage, 'tis true, And lov'd his country--but what's that to you? Those strange examples ne'er were made to fit ye, But the kind cuckold might instruct the city :
There many an honest man may copy Cato,
If after all, you think it a disgrace,
SAPPHO TO PHAON, SAY, lovely youth, that dost my heart command,
Can Phaon's eyes forget his Sappho's hand ? Must then her name the wretched writer prove, To thy remembrance lost, as to thy love? Ask not the cause that I new numbers choose, The lute neglected, and the Lyric Muse; Love taught my tears in sadder notes to flow, And tun'd my heart to elegies of woe. I burn, I burn, as when through ripen'd corn By driving winds the spreading flames are borne, Phaon to Ætna's scorching fields retires, While I consume with more than Ætna's fires ! No more my soul a charm in music fiods, Music has charms alone for peaceful minds. Soft scenes of solitude no more can please, Love enters there, and I'm my own disease. No more the Lesbian dames my passion move, Once the dear objects of my guilty love; All other loves are lost in only thine, Ah, youth ungrateful to a flame like mine! Whom would not all those blooming charms surprise, Those heavenly looks, and dear deluding eyes? The harp and bow would you like Phæbus bear, A brighter Phæbus Phaon might appear; Would you with ivy wreathe your flowing hair, Not Bacchus' self with Phaon could compare:
Yet Phæbus lov'd, and Bacchus felt the flame,