Still anxious to secure your partial favor,
And not less anxious sure, this night than ever,
A Prologue, Epilogue, or some such matter,
'Twould vamp my Bill, thought I, if nothing better;
So, sought a Poet, roosted near the skies,
Told him, I came to feast my curious eyes;
Said, nothing like his works was ever printed,
And last, my Prologue-business, slily hinted.
Ma'am, let me tell you, quoth my Man of RHYMES,
I know your bent- these are no laughing times;
Can you, but Miss, I own I have my fears,
Dissolve in pause- and sentimental tears
With laden sighs, and solemn-rounded sentence,
Rouse from his sluggish slumbers, fell Repentance;
Paint Vengeance, as he takes his horrid stand,
Waving on high the desolating brand,
Calling the storms to bear him o'er a guilty Land!
I could no more- askance the creature eyeing,
D'ye think, said I, this face was made for crying?
I'll laugh, that's pos-nay more, the world shall know it;
And so, your servant, gloomy Master Poet.
Firm as my creed, Sirs, 'tis my fix'd belief,
That Misery's another word for Grief:
I also think – so may I be a Bride!
That so much laughter, so much life enjoy'd.
Thou man of crazy care, and ceaseless sigh,
Still under bleak Misfortune's blasting eye;
Doom'd to that sorest task of man alive
To make three guineas do the work of five;
Laugh in Misfortune's face- the beldam witch!
Say, you'll be merry – tho' you can't be rich.
Thou other man of care, the wretch in love,
Who long with jiltish arts and airs hast strove;
Who, as the boughs all temptingly project,
Measur'st, in desp'rate thought - a rope - thy neck –
Or, where the bleeting cliffs o'erhang the deep
Peerest, to meditate the healing leap:
[For shame! For shame! I tell thee, thou art no man:
This for a giddy, vain, capricious woman?
A creature, though I say't you know, that should not;
Ridiculous with her idiot, 'Would and Would not.']
Wouldst thou be cur'd, thou silly, moping elf?
Laugh at her follies; laugh e'en at thyself:
Learn to despise those frowns, now so terrific;
And love a kinder – that's your grand specific!
To sum up all – be merry! I advise;
And as we're merry, may we still be wise.