On Mr Colliers Essay On The Stage
Some ages has the stage triumphant stood,
and vice in masquerade debauchd the crowd;
In charming numbers, all bewitching arts,
has the gay syren drest to steal our hearts:
like undesigning pleasure she appears,
at once delights & unperceivd insnares,
long has she found th' unhappy pow'r to please,
& wantond in a luxury of success.
But you unmasque the fashionable cheat,
Draw off the curtain, & dissect the bait,
Expose to view the hook so closely hid,
Break down her altars, & her priests deride.
thus, when to painted Idols Israel bowd,
the good Elijah Zealous for his god
Against the blocks, and all their prophets rose,
Alone attackd and overthrew his foes.
Hail man of god, all hail, whose pious quill
Dares check a world thats so perversly ill,
Dares ev'n its darling vanities abuse,
and in its full Carreer arrest the looser muse.
You like some angell guide conduct us on,
& shew the sodom wch you teach to shun;
You spoil the varnisht ill of all its rays,
of all its beauty's, evry borrowd grace,
& shew wt lurks beneath so smooth a face.
Thus (say the bards) some worthy knight maintains
A warr wth fairy states, enchanted scenes,
When he moves on the bright delusion fly's,
& dismall dungeons gape before his eyes
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