Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 232 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.

[1] ‘Maid’s Tragedy’:  Waller altered this tragedy without success. [2] ‘Marble last’:  these lines occur in a previous poem.

EPILOGUE TO THE ‘MAID’S TRAGEDY.’  SPOKEN BY THE KING.

The fierce Melantius was content, you see,
The king should live; be not more fierce than he;
Too long indulgent to so rude a time,
When love was held so capital a crime,
That a crown’d head could no compassion find,
But died—­because the killer had been kind! 
Nor is’t less strange, such mighty wits as those
Should use a style in tragedy like prose. 
Well-sounding verse, where princes tread the stage,
Should speak their virtue, or describe their rage. 10
By the loud trumpet, which our courage aids,
We learn that sound, as well as sense, persuades;
And verses are the potent charms we use,
Heroic thoughts and virtue to infuse.

When next we act this tragedy again,
Unless you like the change, we shall be slain. 
The innocent Aspasia’s life or death,
Amintor’s too, depends upon your breath. 
Excess of love was heretofore the cause;
Now if we die, ’tis want of your applause. 20

ANOTHER EPILOGUE TO THE ‘MAID’S TRAGEDY.’ 
DESIGNED UPON THE FIRST ALTERATION OF THE PLAY, WHEN THE KING ONLY WAS
LEFT ALIVE.

Aspasia bleeding on the stage does lie,
To show you still ’tis the Maid’s Tragedy. 
The fierce Melantius was content, you see,
The king should live; be not more fierce than he;
Too long indulgent to so rude a time,
When love was held so capital a crime,
That a crown’d head could no compassion find,
But died—­because the killer had been kind! 
This better-natured poet had reprieved
Gentle Amintor too, had he believed 10
The fairer sex his pardon could approve,
Who to ambition sacrificed his love. 
Aspasia he has spared; but for her wound
(Neglected love!) there could no salve be found.

When next we act this tragedy again,
Unless you like the change, I must be slain. 
Excess of love was heretofore the cause;
Now if I die, ’tis want of your applause.

EPIGRAMS, EPITAPHS, AND FRAGMENTS.

UNDER A LADY’S PICTURE.

Such Helen was! and who can blame the boy[1]
That in so bright a flame consumed his Troy? 
But had like virtue shined in that fair Greek,
The am’rous shepherd had not dared to seek
Or hope for pity; but with silent moan,
And better fate, had perished alone.

[1] Paris.

OF A LADY WHO WRIT IN PRAISE OF MIRA.

While she pretends to make the graces known
Of matchless Mira, she reveals her own;
And when she would another’s praise indite,
Is by her glass instructed how to write.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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