ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Several Hands [including Alexander Pope], "Prologue, design'd for Mr. D—'s last Play" Steele, Poetical Miscellanies (1714) 40-41.
1680 ca.: Anonymous
1682: Thomas Shadwell
1700: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1700: Daniel Kenrick
1700: Samuel Cobb
1705: John Dunton
1705 ca.: Francis Knapp
1710: Alexander Pope
1712: Rev. Thomas Newcomb
1713: Sir Richard Steele
1714: Several Hands
1715: Dr. George Sewell
1764: David Erskine Baker
1775 ca.: James Harris
1776: Sir John Hawkins
1807: Robert Southey
1823: John Wilson
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1858: Samuel Austin Allibone
1863: George Daniel
1714: Thomas D'Urfey
Grown Old in Rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard
Your persevering, unexhausted Bard:
Damnation follows Death in other Men,
But your damn'd Poet lives and writes again.
Th' adventrous Lover is successful still,
Who strives to please the Fair against her Will:
Be kind, and make him in his Wishes easie,
Who in your own Despite has strove to please ye.
He scorn'd to borrow from the Wits of Yore;
But ever Writ as none e'er Writ before.
Your modern Wits, should each Man bring his Claim,
Have desperate Debentures on your Fame;
And little would be left you, I'm afraid,
If all your Debts to Greece and Rome were paid.
From his deep Fund our Author largely draws;
Nor sinks his Credit lower than it was.
Tho' Plays for Honour in old Time he made,
'Tis now for better Reasons — to be Paid.
Believe him, Sirs, h'has known the World too long,
And seen the Death of much Immortal Song.
He says, poor Poets lost, while Players won,
As Pimps grow rich, while Gallants are undone.
Tho' Tom the Poet writ with Ease and Pleasure,
The Comick Tom abounds in other Treasure.
Fame is at best an unperforming Cheat;
But 'tis substantial Happiness to Eat—
Let Ease, his last Request, be of your giving,
Nor force him to be Damn'd to get his Living.