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Poem by William Whitehead

Nature to Dr. Hoadly

On his Comedy of the SUSPICIOUS HUSBAND.

By the Same.

SLY hypocrite! was this your aim?
To borrow Paeon's sacred name,
And lurk beneath his graver mien,
To trace the secrets of my reign?
Did I for this applaud your zeal,
And point out each minuter wheel,
Which finely taught the next to roll,
And made my works one perfect whole?
For who, but I, till you appear'd
To model the dramatic herd,
E'er bade to wond'ring ears and eyes,
Such pleasing intricacies rise?
Where every part is nicely true,
Yet touches still some master clue;
Each riddle opening by degrees,
'Till all unravels with such ease,
That only those who will be blind
Can feel one doubt perplex their mind.

Nor was't enough, you thought, to write,
But you must impiously unite
With GARRICK too, who long before
Had stole my whole expressive pow'r.
That changeful Proteus of the stage
Usurps my mirth, my grief, my rage;
And as his diff'rent parts incline,
Gives joys or pains, sincere as mine.

Yet you shall find (howe'er elate
You triumph in your former cheat)
'Tis not so easy to escape
In Nature's as in Paeon's shape.
For every critick, great or small,
Hates every thing that's natural.
The beaus, and ladies too, can say,
What does he mean? is this a play?
We see such people every day.
Nay more, to chafe, and teize your spleen,
And teach you how to steal again,
My very fools shall prove you're bit,
And damn you for your want of wit.

William Whitehead

William Whitehead's other poems:
  1. To the Honourable [Charles Townsend]
  2. Ode for the New Year, 1763
  3. The Vision of Solomon
  4. To the Same [Charles Townsend], on the Death of a Relation
  5. An Hymn to the Nymph of Bristol Spring

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