Literature & Theatre > Prologue spoken at the first opening of the Queen's new theatre in the Hay-Market
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Spoken at the Firſt Opening of the
QUEEN's New Theatre in
SUCH was our Builder's Art, that ſoon as nam'd,
This Fabrick, like the lnfant-World, was fram'd.
The Architect muſt on dull Order wait,
But 'tis the Poet only can Create.
None elſe, at Pleaſure, can Duration give,
When Marble fails, the Muſes Structures live,
The Cyprian Fane is now no longer ſeen,
Tho' Sacred to the Name of Love's Fair Queen.
Ev'n Athens ſcarce in pompous Ruin ſtands,
Tho' finiſh'd by the Learn d Minerva's Hands.
More ſure Preſages from theſe Walls we find
By Beauty founded, and by Wit deſign'd ;
In the good Age of Ghoſtly Ignorance,
How did Cathedrals riſe, and Zeal Advance !
The Merry Monks ſaid Oriſons at Eaſe,
Large were their Meals, and light their Penances ;
Pardon for Sins was purchas'd with Eſtates,
And none but Rogues in Rags dy'd Reprobates.
But now that Pious Pageantry's no more,
And Stages thrive as Churches did before.
Your own Magnificence you here Survey,
Majeſtick Columns ſtand where Dunghils lay,
And Carrs Triumphal riſe from Carts of Hay.
Swains here are taught to hope, and Nymphs to fear,
And big Almanzor's Fight mock---Blenheim's here.
Deſcending Goddeſſes adorn our Scenes,
And quit their bright Abodes for gilt Machines.
Shou'd Jove for this Fair Circle leave his Throne,
He'd meet a Lightning fiercer than his own.
Tho' to the Sun his tow'ring Eagles Riſe,
They ſcarce cou'd bear the Luſtre of theſe Eyes.
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