To My Dear Friend Mr. Congreve On His Commedy Call'd The Double Dealer
Well then; the promis'd hour is come at last;
The present age of wit obscures the past:
Strong were our sires; and as they fought they writ,
Conqu'ring with force of arms, and dint of wit;
Theirs was the giant race, before the Flood;
And thus, when Charles return'd, our empire stood.
Like Janus he the stubborn soil manur'd,
With rules of husbandry the rankness cur'd:
Tam'd us to manners, when the stage was rude;
And boisterous English wit, with art endu'd.
Our age was cultivated thus at length;