Joseph Addison

(1672-1719 / England)

Prologue To Steele's Tender Husband


In the first rise and infancy of farce,
When fools were many, and when plays were scarce
The raw unpractis'd authors could, with ease,
A young and unexperienc'd audience please:
No single character had e'er been shown,
But the whole herd of fops was all their own;
Rich in originals, they set to view,
In every piece, a coxcomb that was new.
But now our British theatre can boast
Drolls of all kinds, a vast unthinking host!

Fruitful of folly and of vice, it shows
Cuckolds, and cits, and bawds, and pimps, and beaux;
Rough country knights are found of every shire;
Of every fashion gentle fops appear;
And punks of different characters we meet,
As frequent on the stage as in the pit.
Our modern wits are forc'd to pick and cull,
And here and there by chance glean up a fool:
Long ere they find the necessary spark,
They search the town, and beat about the Park,

To all his most frequented haunts resort,
Oft dog him to the ring, and oft to court;
As love of pleasure or of place invites;
And sometimes catch him taking snuff at White's
Howe'er, to do you right, the present age
Breeds very hopeful monsters for the stage;
That scorn the paths their dull forefather's trod,
And won't be blockheads in the common road.
Do but survey this crouded house tonight:
--Here's still encouragement for those that write.

Our author, to divert his friends to-day,
Stocks with variety of fools his play;
And that there may be something gay and new,
Two ladies-errant has expos'd to view;
The first a damsel, travel'd in romance;
The t'other more refin'd, she comes from France:
Rescue, like courteous knights, the nymph from danger,
And kindly treat, like well-bred men, the stranger.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Prologue To Steele's Tender Husband by Joseph Addison )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. To Perish In Paris, Curtlan Popo
  2. Depths Of Self - Assertion, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Much More To Life There Is To Live, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  4. Our first meet, gajanan mishra
  5. Intensity Of A Mere Poet, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. Distant Whirring, Curtlan Popo
  7. A Challenge Title Contest - 2014's Oct N.., Brian Johnston
  8. Intuitively Wondering, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. No Other Presence, Hannah Bryson Price
  10. Transcendent Evolution, Curtlan Popo

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. Barbie Doll, Marge Piercy

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]