Another Epilogue -

Two houses joined, two poets to a play?
You noisy Whigs will sure be pleased today —
It looks so like two shrieves the City way.
But since our discords and divisions cease,
You bilbo gallants, learn to keep the peace.
Make here no tilts: let our poor stage alone;
Or if a decent murther must be done
Pray take a civil turn to Marybone.
If not, I swear we'll pull up all our benches,
Not for your sakes, but for our orange-wenches':
For you thrust wide sometimes, and many a spark
That misses one can hit the other mark.
This makes our boxes full, for men of sense
Pay their four shillings in their own defence,
That safe behind the ladies they may stay,
Peep o'er the fan, and judge the bloody fray.
But other foes give beauty worse alarms:
The posse poetarum 's up in arms.
No woman's fame their libels has escaped;
Their ink runs venom, and their pens are clapped.
When sighs and prayers their ladies cannot move
They rail, write treason, and turn Whigs to love.
Nay, and I fear they worse designs advance:
There's a damned love-trick new brought o'er from France.
We charm in vain, and dress, and keep a pother,
While those false rogues are ogling one another.
All sins besides admit some expiation,
But this against our sex is plain damnation.
They join for libels too, these women-haters,
And as they club for love, they club for satires.
The best on't is, they hurt not, for they wear
Stings in their tails, their only venom's there.
'Tis true, some shot at first the ladies hit
Which able marksmen made, and men of wit;
But now the fools give fire, whose bounce is louder,
And yet like mere train-bands they shoot but powder.
Libels, like plots, sweep all in their first fury,
Then dwindle like an ignoramus jury.
Thus age begins with tousing and with tumbling,
But grunts and groans, and ends at last in fumbling.
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