Oft from the Chest, Thalia’s attic throne
The wings of with, the shafts of love have flown;
Wit to soft satire lends her painted plumes,
And Love’s light torch the festive scene illumes:
No tripods here pneumatic altars raise
With pyro-technic-hydro-static blaze,
Wit’s rarest gas sustains our constant lamp,
Secure from Folly’s smoke or Envy’s damp!
But if too swiftly spreads th’ electric fire,
Mild Wisdom comes — like Congreve’s reservoir.
Tho’ no “divine Sestettos” triumph here
Nor Shakespear’s ghost nor — Drury’s engineer;
Tho’ to our aid no “self-taught wheels” we call,
But move, like Merlin, with no wheels at all;
We too the “Pencil & the Lyre” can boast,
And claim “the Graces”, lov’d and welcome’d most!
“Three who their witching airs from Cupid stole,
Three long-acknowledg’d sovereigns of the soul!”
Of may their accents “melodize” our lays,
While “soft consenting voices” murmur praise!
May their rich lips the Muses’ Nectar pour
Till “Garrick” sleeps, and “Brinsley” cheats no more!
Friends, Allies! Ye who bid our glories live
And, like kind patrons, grace “the means you give,”
Come! and as “Banquo” view’d the magic glass,
Admire your laurell’d offspring as they pass!
With graceful whispers spread the breath of fame,
And as you praise yourselves, “forbear to blame!”
In these illustrious days of pure delight,
When Ladies read and even lords can write,
Light is the toil to fill our attic scene
And bid our coffer be — “What it has been!”
Fulfill the gentle task! With paper-aid
Come every sighing swain and soft-ey’d maid!
So may each beauteous face in smiles be drest,
And ev’ry lover win — a well-fill’d Chest!
May never stubborn rhymes your verse confuse,
Nor fires consume them, nor Committees choose!
But such Committees as to-night preside,
Their purpose, pleasure; elegance their guide!
Prompt to praise others as themselves excel,
And most exalted when you cry — “How well!”
Mart: Scriblerus, Junr