Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1730 – 4 April 1774 / County Longford / Ireland)
Epilogue Intended To Have Been Spoken For 'She Stoops To Conquer'
'Enter' MRS. BULKLEY,
'who curtsies very low as beginning to speak.
Then enter' MISS CATLEY,
'who stands full before her, and curtsies to the audience'.
HOLD, Ma'am, your pardon. What's your business here?
Yes, the Epilogue, my dear.
Sure you mistake, Ma'am. The Epilogue, 'I' bring it.
Excuse me, Ma'am. The Author bid 'me' sing it.
Ye beaux and belles, that form this splendid ring,
Suspend your conversation while I sing.
Why, sure the girl's beside herself: an Epilogue of singing,
A hopeful end indeed to such a blest beginning.
Besides, a singer in a comic set! --
Excuse me, Ma'am, I know the etiquette.
What if we leave it to the House?
The House! -- Agreed.
And she, whose party's largest, shall proceed.
And first I hope, you'll readily agree
I've all the critics and the wits for me.
They, I am sure, will answer my commands:
Ye candid-judging few, hold up your hands.
What! no return? I find too late, I fear,
That modern judges seldom enter here.
I'm for a different set. -- Old men, whose trade is
Still to gallant and dangle with the ladies; --
Who mump their passion, and who, grimly smiling,
Still thus address the fair with voice beguiling:--
'Air -- Cotillon'.
Turn, my fairest, turn, if ever
Strephon caught thy ravish'd eye;
Pity take on your swain so clever,
Who without your aid must die.
Yes, I shall die, hu, hu, hu, hu!
Yes, I must die, ho, ho, ho, ho! ('Da capo'.)
Let all the old pay homage to your merit;
Give me the young, the gay, the men of spirit.
Ye travell'd tribe, ye macaroni train,
Of French friseurs, and nosegays, justly vain,
Who take a trip to Paris once a year
To dress, and look like awkward Frenchmen here,
Lend me your hands. -- Oh! fatal news to tell:
Their hands are only lent to the Heinel.
Ay, take your travellers, travellers indeed!
Give me my bonny Scot, that travels from the Tweed.
Where are the chiels? Ah! Ah, I well discern
The smiling looks of each bewitching bairn.
'Air -- A bonny young lad is my Jockey'.
I'll sing to amuse you by night and by day,
And be unco merry when you are but gay;
When you with your bagpipes are ready to play,
My voice shall be ready to carol away
With Sandy, and Sawney, and Jockey
With Sawney, and Jarvie, and Jockey.
Ye gamesters, who, so eager in pursuit,
Make but of all your fortune one 'va toute';
Ye jockey tribe, whose stock of words are few,
'I hold the odds. -- Done, done, with you, with you;'
Ye barristers, so fluent with grimace,
'My Lord, -- your Lordship misconceives the case;'
Doctors, who cough and answer every misfortuner,
'I wish I'd been called in a little sooner:'
Assist my cause with hands and voices hearty;
Come, end the contest here, and aid my party.
'Air -- Ballinamony'.
Ye brave Irish lads, hark away to the crack,
Assist me, I pray, in this woful attack;
For sure I don't wrong you, you seldom are slack,
When the ladies are calling, to blush and hang back;
For you're always polite and attentive,
Still to amuse us inventive,
And death is your only preventive:
Your hands and your voices for me.
Well, Madam, what if, after all this sparring,
We both agree, like friends, to end our jarring?
And that our friendship may remain unbroken,
What if we leave the Epilogue unspoken?
And now with late repentance,
Un-epilogued the Poet waits his sentence.
Condemn the stubborn fool who can't submit
To thrive by flattery, though he starves by wit.
Comments about this poem (Epilogue Intended To Have Been Spoken For 'She Stoops To Conquer' by Oliver Goldsmith )
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