On Meeting Mrs. Abington, at a Friend's, at Dinner


" I T is Euphrosyne , " I said,
" By all the Loves and Graces led, "
When o'er the animated stage
A second Oldfield's youthful age
With taste and wit a form combin'd
As fleet and graceful as the mind ;
An eye as brilliant as the jest
That Fancy's playful note impress'd,
The air and spirit could impart,
That rose above the wings of Art,
When Genius on the Comic throne
Made the enchanting Nymph his own;
When Shakespeare's mirrour brighter shone;
When Beatrice was Abington .
But these delights could only cheer
The distant eye, the distant ear.
I envy'd those her love caress'd,
The dear companion, friend, and guest:
With blissful chance the social hour
Unveils to me her brightest power;
A thousand charms are brought in view
Of a more interesting hue:
The jest refin'd, though prompt its birth,
The charm of ease and polish'd mirth;
A soften'd lustre gilds the scene,
As bright as day, but more serene;
The shades of Genius are inspir'd,
And, less diffus'd, are more desir'd;
No more coquetting with her fame,
Without Ambition's restless aim,
To the selected few confin'd,
Her glowing spirits cheer the mind.
Thalia's Pupil has rebell'd;
The Muse by Nature is excell'd:
And Comic Art admits at last,
That she 's by Abington surpass'd.
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