1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bryan Waller Procter

James Harley, in The Press, or Literary Chit-Chat. A Satire (1822) 9-11 &n.



POCUS.
Mirandola, the meteor of a night,
Appear'd, and then sunk far from human sight.

JOCUS.
Green-room eclat, and neighbours' friendly smile
Lured the attorney from his musty toil;
"Let me," he cried, "forsake my briefs and writs,
And drink th' applauses of my fellow cits;
Now I may stray down Chancery-lane unseen,
But then how noble will become my mien!
As past the Six-clerks' Office I shall stride,
Faces well-known will throng the other side;
Smiles like a counsel's when he gains a cause,
Will mingle with the accents of applause;
Clerks from each office, articled or not,
Will, staring, envy me my glorious lot.
No surly doorkeeper will bid me pay
My silver fee when I would see the play,
But with an easy air, as quite at home,
I'll dare the boxes, pit, or e'en green-room!"

HOCUS.
Quiz not poor Proctor, for I much admire
His first production; — true, it hath not fire,*
But then around it such a luscious air
Of tender feeling ever hovers near,
That I had hoped for much in future tomes
To mend the manners of the drama's domes.

POCUS.
False hope, alas! Mirandola appear'd
And, though each friendly critic loudly cheer'd,
A few short hours, and his became the doom
Of consignation to the Cap'lets' tomb.

JOCUS.
The stage, alas! is now consign'd by all
To shows that predicate its utter fall.
To-day some pageant where the tailor's skill
Vies with the scenepainter's the breast to thrill;
To-morrow pantomimes, where oft-tried tricks
Strive the attention of the house to fix.

* The first time that I read Barry Cornwall's Dramatic Scenes, appears like a delicious day-dream; one of those rosy moments which we occasionally enjoy amidst the thorny paths of life. Their author has certainly deteriorated since their publication. His Poems do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath, nor is it easy for me to conceive them the off-spring of the same mind.