BY THE AUTHOR
SPOKEN ON THE TENTH NIGHT, BY MRS. BULKLEY
Granted our cause, our suit and trial o'er,
The worthy serjeant need appear no more:
In pleasing I a different client choose;
He served the poet -- I would serve the Muse:
A female counsel in a female's cause.
Look on this form,-- where Humor, quaint and sly,
|Like him, I'll try to merit your applause, ||5|
Dimples the cheek, and points the beaming eye;
Where gay Invention seems to boast its wiles
While her light masks or covers Satire's strokes,
All hides the conscious blush her wit provokes.
|In amorous hint, and half-triumphant smiles; ||10|
Look on her well -- does she seem formed to teach?
Should you expect to hear this lady preach?
Do solemn sentiments become that mouth?
Bid her be grave, those lips should rebel prove
|Is grey experience suited to her youth? ||15|
To every theme that slanders mirth or love.
Yet, thus adorned with every graceful art
Must we displace her, and instead advance
The goddess of the woful countenance
|To charm the fancy and yet reach the heart ----- ||20|
The sentimental Muse? -- Her emblems view,
The Pilgrim's Progress, and a sprig of rue!
Primly portrayed on emblematic wood!
There, fixed in usurpation, should she stand,
|View her -- too chaste to look like flesh and blood -- ||25|
She'll snatch the dagger from her sister's hand:
And having made her votaries weep a flood,
Bid Harry Woodward [CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE] break poor Dunstal's [DAVID] crown!
|Good heav'n! she'll end her comedies in blood -- ||30|
Imprison Quick [ACRES], and knock Ned Shuter [SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE] down;
While sad Barsanti [ LYDIA LANGUISH], weeping o'er the scene,
Shall stab herself -- or poison Mrs. Green [MRS. MALAPROP].
Demands the critic's voice -- the poet's rhyme.
Can our light scenes add strength to holy laws?
|Such dire encroachments to prevent in time, ||35|
Such puny patronage but hurts the cause:
Fair Virtue scorns our feeble aid to ask;
For here their fav'rite stands, whose brow -- severe
|And moral Truth disdains the trickster's mask. ||40|
And sad -- claims Youth's respect, and Pity's tear;
Who, when oppressed by foes her worth creates,
Can point a poniard at the guilt she hates.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan.
Contributors: George Henry Nettleton - Editor, Arthur Eillicot Case - Editor.
Publisher: Boston ; Houghton Mifflin company,..
Place of publication: Boston; New York.
Publication year: 1939.
Page number: 803.
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