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OWL, AND CUCKOW.
ADDRESSED TO DAVID GARRICK, ESQ.
ON THE REPORT OF HIS RETIRING FROM THE STAGE,
Critics, who like the scarecrows stand
I would be honest and sincere, But not a flatterer, or severe. Need I be surly, rough, uncouth, That folks may think I love the truth? And She, good dame, with Beauty's Queen, Was not at all times naked seen : For every boy, with Prior, knows, By accident she lost her cloaths, When Falshood stole them to disguise Her misbegotten brood of lies. Why should the prudish Goddess dwell Down at the bottom of a well, But that she is in pitious fright, Lest, rising up to mortal sight, The modest world shou'd fleer and flout her, With not a rag of cloaths about her? Yet she might wear a proper dress And keep her essence ne'ertheless. So Delia's bosom still will rise, And fascinate her lover's eyes, Tho'round her ivory neck she draws, The decent shade of specious gauze..
I hear it buzz'd about the table, What can this lead to ? - Sirs,
When Birds allow'd the Eagle's sway,
But Birds, alas! are apt to aim At things, to which they've smallest claim. The staring Owl, with hideous hoot, Offer'd his service for a flute. The Cuckow needs would join the band ; “ The Thrush is but a paltry hand: “ And I can best supply that place, " For I've a shake, a swell, a grace."
The Manager their suit preferr'd :
The Cuckow hence, with rancour stirr'd, (A kind of periodic bird, Of nasty hue, and body scabby, No would-be-play-wright half so shabby) Reviles, abuses, and defames, Screams from a branch, and calls hard names, And strikes at Nightingale or Lark, Like Lisbon ruffians, in the dark.
The Owl harangues the gaping throng On Pow'rs, and excellence of song, “ The Blackbird's note has lost it's force; “ The Nightingale is downright hoarse; “ The Linnet's harsh ; the Robin shrill ; “ – The Sparrow has prodigious skill.”
At length they had what they desir'd:
AN EPISTLE TO
Well-shall I wish you joy of fame,