Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ALL FOR LOVE, OR THE WORLD WELL LOST: PROLOGUE, by JOHN DRYDEN

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ALL FOR LOVE, OR THE WORLD WELL LOST: PROLOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What flocks of critics hover here to-day
Last Line: Such rivell'd fruits as winter can afford.
Variant Title(s): Prologue And Epilogue To All For Love: Prologue To Antony And Cleopatr
Subject(s): Critics & Criticism; Love; Plays & Playwrights ; Poetry & Poets; Dramatists

WHAT Flocks of Critiques hover here to-day,
As Vultures wait on Armies for their Prey,
All gaping for the Carcase of a Play!
With croaking Notes they bode some dire event,
And follow dying Poets by the scent.
Ours gives himself for gone; y' have watch'd your Time;
He fights this day unarm'd, without his Rhyme,
And brings a Tale which often has been told,
As sad as Dido's, and almost as old.
His Heroe, whom you Wits his Bully call,
Bates of his Mettle, and scarce rants at all;
He's somewhat lewd, but a well-meaning mind,
Weeps much, fights little, but is wondrous kind;
In short, a Pattern and Companion fit
For all the keeping Tonyes of the Pit.
I cou'd name more: A Wife, and Mistress too,
Both (to be plain) too good for most of you;
The Wife well-natur'd, and the Mistress true.
Now, Poets, if your fame has been his Care,
Allow him all the Candour you can spare.
A brave Man scorns to quarrel once a day,
Like Hectors in at ev'ry petty fray.
Let those find fault whose Wit's so very small,
They've need to show that they can think at all.
Errors, like Straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for Pearls must dive below.
Fops may have leave to level all they can,
As Pigmies wou'd be glad to lop a Man.
Half-wits are Fleas, so little and so light,
We scarce cou'd know they live, but that they bite.
But, as the rich, when tir'd with daily Feasts,
For Change become their next poor Tenants Ghests;
Drink hearty Draughts of Ale from plain brown Bowls,
And snatch the homely Rasher from the Coals:
So you, retiring from much better Cheer,
For once may venture to do penance here.
And since that plenteous Autumn now is past,
Whose Grapes and Peaches have indulg'd your Taste,
Take in good Part from our poor Poets boord
Such rivell'd Fruits as Winter can afford.

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