Poets, like cudgelled bullies, never do
At first, or second blow, submit to you,
But will provoke you still, and ne'er have done
Till you are weary first, with laying on.
The late so baffled scribbler of this day,∘ 5 Though he stands trembling, bids me boldly say What we before most plays am used to do--
For poets, out of fear, first draw on you,
In a fierce prologue the still pit defy,
And ere you speak, like Kastril give the lie.∘ 10 But though our Bayses' battles oft I've fought,∘ And with bruised knuckles their dear conquests bought--
Nay, never yet feared odds upon the stage--
In prologue dare not hector with the age,
But would take quarter from your saving hands, 15 Though Bays (within) all yielding countermands,∘ Says you confed'rate wits no quarter give,
Therefore his play shan't ask your leave to live.
Well, let the vain rash fop, by huffing so,
Think to obtain the better terms of you; 20 But we the actors humbly will submit, Now, and at any time, to a full pit--
Nay, often we anticipate your rage,
And murder poets for you, on our stage.
We set no guards upon our tiring-room,∘ 25 But when with flying colours there you come, We patiently, you see, give up to you
Our poets, virgins, nay our matrons too.