SPOKEN BY MR. WILKS1
WHEN strife disturbs, or sloth corrupts an age,
Keen satire is the business of the stage.
When the Plain Dealer2 writ, he lashed those crimes
Which then infested most--the modish times:
But now, when faction sleeps and sloth is fled,5 And all our youth in active fields are bred; 3
When through Great Britain's fair extensive round,
The trumps of fame the notes of Union4 sound;
When Anna's sceptre points the laws their course,
And her example gives her precepts force: 10 There scarce is room for satire; all our lays
Must be, or songs of triumph, or of praise.
But as in grounds best cultivated, tares
And poppies rise among the golden ears;
Our products so, fit for the field or school, 15 Must mix with nature's favorite plant--a fool:
A weed that has to twenty summers ran,
Shoots up in stalk, and vegetates to man.
Simpling5 our author goes from field to field,
And culls such fools as may diversion yield; 20 And, thanks to nature, there's no want of those,
For, rain or shine, the thriving coxcomb grows.
Follies tonight we show ne'er lashed before,
Yet such as nature shows you every hour;
Nor can the pictures give a just offence, 25 For fools are made for jests to men of sense.
24] C e'ry.____________________