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ODE TO THE GERMAN DRAMA, by                    
First Line: "daughter of night, chaotic queen!"
Last Line: "established order spurn, and call each outcast friend"
Alternate Author Name(s): S.
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers;odes (as Poetic Form)

DAUGHTER of Night, chaotic Queen!
Thou fruitful source of modern lays,
Whose subtle plot and tedious scene
The monarch spurn, the robber raise—
Bound in thy necromantic spell,
The audience taste the joys of hell;
And Britain's sons indignant groan
With pangs unfelt before at crimes before unknown.

When first, to make the nation stare,
Folly her painted mask displayed,
Schiller sublimely mad was there,
And Kotz'bue lent his mighty aid—
Gigantic pair! their lofty soul,
Disdaining reason's weak control,
On changeful Britain sped the blow,
Who, thoughtless of her own, embraced fictitious woe.

Awed by thy scowl tremendous, fly
Fair Comedy's theatric brood,
Light satire, wit and harmless joy,
And leave us dungeons, chains and blood;
Swift they disperse, and with them go
Mild Otway, sentimental Rowe;
Congreve averts th' indignant eye,
And Shakespeare mourns to view th' exotic prodigy.

Ruffians in regal mantle dight,
Maidens immersed in thought profound,
Spectres that haunt the shade of night,
And spread a waste of ruin round:
These form thy never-varying theme,
While, buried in thy Stygian stream,
Religion mourns her wasted fires,
And Hymen's sacred torch low hisses and expires.

O mildly o'er the British stage,
Great Anarch, spread thy sable wings;
Not fired with all the frantic rage
With which thou hurl'st thy darts at kings,
(As thou in native garb art seen)
With scattered tresses, haggard mien,
Sepulchral chains and hideous cry,
By despot arts immured in ghastly poverty.

In specious form, dread Queen, appear,
Let falsehood fill the dreary waste;
Thy democratic rant be here
To fire the brain, corrupt the taste.
The fair, by vicious love misled,
Teach me to cherish and to wed,
To low-born arrogance to bend,
Established order spurn, and call each outcast friend.

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