Page:Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903.djvu/475

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������COUNTESS OF WINOHILSEA 337 �ARISTOMENES: OK, THE ROYAL SHEPHEED A TRAGEDY �PROLOGUE TO ARISTOMENES �To my Lord Winchilsea, upon the first reading the Play to him, at Eastwell in Kent �When first upon the Stage a Play appears, �'Tis not the multitude a poet fears, �Who from example, praise, or dam by roate, �And give their censure, as some Members vote. �But, if in the expecting box, or pitt, �The wretch discerns one true, substantial witt, �Tow'rds him, his doubtful sight, he'll still direct, �Whose very looks can all his faults detect. �So, though no croud is gather' d here, today, �And you my Lord, alone, must Judge this Play, 10 �Much more the ign'rant Author is concern' d, �Then if whole troops, of vulgar Critticks swarm'd ; �Since Horace, by your mouth, must all condemn, �And 'tis her losse, that you're so great with him. �But, when good Plays scarse pleas' d our Charles's Court, �(So nice him self, and the refin'der sort) �A droll, wou'd att Newmarkett make them sport, �Where rusty copper, dect the strouling Vermin, �And flannel dash'd with Ink, make princely Ermin, �Then lett not this poor Poem, quite dispair, 20 �The country asks but plain, and homely fare ; �And if this please, by a good winter's fire �More then a visite from a neigh 'bring squire, �Or tedious sheet, of doubtful news from Dyer, �The Writer's too well, paid for all her pain, �Who'll now begin, in King Cambyses' strain, �Heroicks, such as Falstaffe heretofore ��� �