The tempest, or, The enchanted island a comedy, as it is now acted at His Highness the Duke of York's Theatre.
Dryden, John, 1631-1700., Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Tempest., D'Avenant, William, Sir, 1606-1668.
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Prologue to the Tempest, or the Enchanted Island.

As when a Tree's cut down the secret root
Lives under ground, and thence new Branches shoot
So, from old Shakespear's honour'd dust, this day
Springs up and buds a new reviving Play.
Shakespear, who (taught by none) did first impart
To Fletcher Wit, to labouring Johnson Art.
He Monarch-like gave those his subjects law,
And is that Nature which they paint and draw.
Fletcher reach'd that which on his heights did grow,
Whilst Johnson crept and gather'd all below.
This did his Love, and this his Mirth digest:
One imitates him most, the other best.
If they have since out-writ all other men,
'Tis with the drops which fell from Shakespear's Pen.
The Storm which vanish'd on the Neighb'ring shore,
Was taught by Shakespear's Tempest first to roar.
That innocence and beauty which did smile
In Fletcher, grew on this Enchanted Isle.
But Shakespear's Magick could not copy'd be,
Within that Circle none durst walk but he.
I must confess 'twas bold, nor would you now,
That liberty to vulgar Wits allow,
Which works by Magick supernatural things:
But Shakespear's pow'r is sacred as a King's.
Those Legends from old Priest-hood were receiv'd,
And he then writ, as people then believ'd.
But, if for Shakespear we your grace implore,
We for our Theatre shall want it more:
Who by our dearth of Youths are forc'd t'employ
One of our Women to present a Boy.
And that's a transformation you will say
Exceeding all the Magick in the Play.
Let none expect in the last Act to find,
Her Sex transform'd from man to Woman-kind.
Whate're she was before the Play began,
All you shall see of her is perfect man.
Or if your fancy will be further led,
To find her Woman, it must be abed.
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