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SAY, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual off’ring shall I make
Expressive of my duty.
My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair-one prize
The gift who flights the giver ?
A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give--and let 'em. If gems, or gold, import a joy,
I'll give them when I get 'em.
I'll give but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion ;
Such short-liv'd off'rings but disclose
A transitory passion.
I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less fincere, than civil:
I'll give thee--ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee-to the devil.
THIS tomb inscrib'd to gentle Parnel's name,
May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,
That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way!
Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid ;
And heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
The transitory breath of fame below :
More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
While converts thank their poet in the skies.
WHAT? five long acts—and all to make us wiser ?
Our authoress fure has wanted an adviser.
Had she consulted me, she should have made
Her moral play a speaking masquerade ;
Warmd up each bustling scene, and in her
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking;
Have pleas'd our eyes, and sav'd the pain of thinking.
Well, since she thus has shewn her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade ?-I will.
there's the rub! [pausing ]—I've got my cue : The world's a masquerade ! the masquers, you, you, you.
[To Boxes, Pit, and Gallerya, Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses !
! False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses! Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em, Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore.
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen.
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman ;
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure :
Thus 'tis with all their chief and constant care
Is to seem every thing—but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on,
Who seems t'have robb'd his vizor from the lion
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round parade,
Looking, as who should say, dam'me ! who's afraid ?
Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am
You'll find his lionship a very lamb.
Yon politician, famous in debate,
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state ;
Yet, when he deigns his real shape t'assume,
He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems to every gazer, all in white,
If with a bribe his candour
He bows, turns round, and whip-the man in black !
Yon critic, too-but whither do I run ?
If I proceed, our bard will be undone !
Well then a truce, since the requests it too :
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.