Prologue -

Written by Mr. GAY .

Spoken by Mr. QUIN .

I Wonder not our Author doubts Success;
One in his Circumstance can do no less.
The Dancer on the Rope that tries at all,
In each unpractis'd Caper risques a Fall:
I own I dread his ticklish Situation,
Criticks detest Poetic Innovation.
Had Ic'rus been content with solid Ground ,
The giddy vent'rous. Youth had ne'er been drown'd.
The Pegasus of old had Fire and Force ,
But your true Modern is a Carrier's Horse,
Drawn by the foremost Bell, afraid to stray,
Bard following Bard jogs on the beaten Way.
Why is this Man so obstinate an Elf?
Will he, alone, not imitate himself?
His Scene now shews the Heroes of old Greece;
But how? 'tis monstrous! In a Comic Piece.
To Buskins, Plumes and Helmets what Pretence,
If mighty Chiefs must speak but common Sense?
Shall no bold Diction, no Poetic Rage,
Fome at our Mouths and thunder on the Stage?
No — 'tis Achilles, as he came from Chiron,
Just taught to sing as well as wield cold Iron;
And whatsoever Criticks may suppose,
Our Author holds, that what He spoke was Prose.
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