Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ASSIGNATION, OR LOVE IN A NUNNERY: PROLOGUE, by JOHN DRYDEN

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THE ASSIGNATION, OR LOVE IN A NUNNERY: PROLOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Prologues, like bells to churches, toll you in
Last Line: Twas imitating you taught haynes to play.
Subject(s): Bells; Churches; Clergy; Poetry & Poets; Cathedrals; Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops

PROLOGUES, like Bells to Churches, toul you in
With Chimeing Verse, till the dull Playes begin;
With this sad difference though, of Pit and Pue;
You damn the Poet, but the Priest damns you.
But Priests can treat you at your own expence,
And, gravely, call you Fools, without Offence
Poets, poor Devils, have ne'er your Folly shown,
But, to their Cost, you prov'd it was their own:
For, when a Fop's presented on the Stage,
Straight all the Coxcombs in the Towningage;
For his deliverance and revenge they joyn,
And grunt, like Hogs, about their Captive Swine.
Your Poets daily split upon this shelf:
You must have Fools, yet none will have himself.
Or, if in kindness, you that leave would give,
No man could write you at that rate you live:
For some of you grow Fops with so much haste,
Riot in nonsence, and commit such waste,
'Twould Ruine Poets should they spend so fast.
He who made this observed what Farces hit,
And durst not disoblige you now with wit.
But, Gentlemen, you overdo the Mode;
You must have Fools out of the common Rode.
Th'unnatural strain'd Buffoon is only taking;
No Fop can please you now of Gods own making.
Pardon our Poet, if he speaks his Mind;
You come to Plays with your own Follies lin'd:
Small Fools fall on you, like small showers, in vain;
Your own oyl'd Coats keep out all common rain.
You must have Mamamouchi, such a Fop
As would appear a Monster in a Shop;
He'll fill your Pit and Boxes to the brim,
Where, Ram'd in Crowds, you see your selves in him.
Sure there's some spell our Poet never knew,
In hullibabilah de, and Chu, chu, chu;
But Marabarah sahem most did touch you;
That is, Oh how we love the Mamamouchi!
Grimace and habit sent you pleas'd away;
You damn'd the poet, and cried up the Play.
This Thought had made our Author more uneasie,
But that he hopes I'm Fool enough to please ye.
But here's my grief, -- though Nature, joined with Art,
Have cut me out to act a Fooling Part,
Yet, to your Praise, the few wits here will say,
'Twas imitating you taught Haynes to Play.

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