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Written and spoken by the Poet LABERIUS, a Roman Knight whom CESAR forced upon the Stage.-Preserved by MACROBIUS.
WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION. A TALE.
So with decorum all things carried;
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The honey-moon like lightning flew ;
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace: But still the worst remained behind, That very face had robbed her mind.
Skilled in no other arts was she, But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humour rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle. 'Tis true she dressed with modern grace, Half naked at a ball or race; But when at home, at board or bed, Five greasy night-caps wrapped her head. Could so much beauty condescend To be a dull domestic friend? Could any curtain lectures bring To decency so fine a thing? In short, by night 'twas fits or fretting; By day 'twas ga lding or coquetting. Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy Of powdered coxcombs at her levy: The 'squire and captain took their stations, And twenty other near relations: Jack sucked his pipe and often broke A sigh in suffocating smoke; While all their hours were passed between Insulting repartee or spleen.
Thus as her faults each day were known, He thinks her features coarser grown; He fancies every vice she shows Or thins her lip, or points her nose: Whenever rage or envy rise,How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes! He knows not how, but so it is, Her face is grown a knowing phiz; And, though her fops are wondrous civil, He thinks her ugly as the devil.
A NEW SIMILE.
LONG had I sought in vain to find
Now to perplex the ravelled noose, As each a different way pursues, While sullen or loquacious strife Promised to hold them on for life, That dire disease, whose ruthless powe Withers the beauty's transient flower Lo! the small pox, whose horrid glare Levelled its terrors at the fair; And, rifling every youthful grace, Left but the remnant of a face.
The glass, grown hateful to her sight Reflected now a perfect fright; Each former art she vainly tries To bring back lustre to her eyes; In vain she tries her paste and creams. To smooth her skin or hide its seams; Her country beaux and city cousins, Lovers no more, flew off by dozens; The 'squire himself was seen to yield, And even the captain quit the field.
Poor madam, now condemned to hack The rest of life with anxious Jack, Perceiving others fairly flown, Attempted pleasing him alone. Jack soon was dazzled to behold Her present face surpass the old: With modesty her cheeks are dyed; Humility displaces pride; For tawdry finery is seen A person ever neatly clean: No more presuming on her sway, She learns good-nature every day: Serenely gay, and strict in duty, Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side-mark that. Well! what is it from thence we gather? Why, these denote a brain of feather. A brain of feather! very right, With wit that's flighty, learning light ; Such as to modern bard's decreed; A just comparison,--proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse, Wings grow again from both his shoes; Designed, no doubt, their part to bear, And waft his godship through the air : And here my simile unites : For in the modern poet's flights,
WHERE the Red Lion, flaring o'er the way,
With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scored,
GOOD people all, of every sort,
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.
In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say,