The play is at an end, but where's the plot?
That circumstance our poet Bayes forgot,
And we can boast, though 'tis a plotting age,
No place is freer from it than the stage.
The ancients plotted, though, and strove to please 5 With sense that might be understood with ease; They every scene with so much wit did store
That who brought any in, went out with more:
But this new way of wit does so surprise,
Men lose their wits in wond'ring where it lies. 10 If it be true that monstrous births presage The following mischiefs that afflict the age,
And sad disasters to the state proclaim,
Plays without head or tail may do the same.
Wherefore, for ours, and for the kingdom's peace, 15 May this prodigious way of writing cease. Let's have, at least, once in our lives, a time
When we may hear some reason, not all rhyme:
We have these ten years felt its influence;
Pray let this prove a year of prose and sense. 20