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Yer faintly now declines the fatal trife,
Ran to the same extremes; and one excess So inuch his love was dearer than his life. Made both, by striving to be greater, leis. Now ev'ry leaf, and ev'ry moving breath
When a calm river rais'd with ludden rains, Presents a foc, and ev'ry foc a deach.
Or snows dissolvod, o'erflows th'adjoining plains, Weary'd, forsaken, and purlu'd, at last
The husbandmen, with high rais'd banks fecure All safety in despair of safety placid,
Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure. Courage he thence resumes, resolvid to bcar But if with bays and dams they strive to force All thcir allaults, since 'ris in vain to fear. His channel to a new, or narrow course, And now, too late, he wilhes for the fight No longer then within his banks he dwells; That strength he watted in ignobic light:
First to a torrent,
en a deluge livells: But when he fees the cager chace renew'd, Stronger and fiercer by restraint he roars, Himself by dogs, the dogs by men purlu'd,
And knows no bound, but makes his power his He straight revokes his bold resolve, and more
§ 24. On Mr. Abraham Coculey's Death and Buriah Then to the stream, when neither friends, nor force,
amongst the ancient Poets. DENHAM. Nor (peed, nor art avail, hc shapes his course; OLD Chaucer, like the morning star, Thinks not their rage to defp’rate to essay
To us discovers day from far,
His light those mists and clouds dissolvid,
The other three, with his own fires,
Our stage's lustre Rome's outshines;
And in one grave our mansion keep.
To Cowley scarce did ripeness give.
(hold, Of th’others) as his own was known. Thus kings, by graļping more than they could On a stiff gale (as Flaccus sings) l'irft made their subjcēts, by oppression, bold: The Theban swan extends his wings, And pop'lar fway, by forcing kings to give When thro' th’ætherial clouds he flies, More than was fit for fubic&ts to receive, To the same pitch our fwan doth rise;
* Runny Mead.
Old Pindar's flights by hiin are reachi'd, But since the press, the pulpit, and the stage,
Posok'd too far, we refolutely must,
To the few virtues that we have, be just. His levere judgment (giving law)
For who have long'i,or who have labour'dinore His modeft fancy kopi in awe:
To learch the treasures of the Roman store ; As rigri husbands jealous are,
Or dig in Grecian inines for purer ore? When they believe their wives too fair.
The noblest fruits transplanied in our ille, His Engliih streams fo pure did flow,
With early hope and fragrant blolioms. smile. A: all that saw and talted know.
Familiar Ovid tender thoughts infpires, But for his Latin vein, fo clear,
And nature feconds all his foft defires : Stronys, full, and high it doto appear,
Theocritus does no!v to us belong; That were immortal Virgil heie,
And Albion's rocks ropeat his rural song. Hun for his judge he would not fear;
Who has not hcard how Italy was bleft Of that great portraiturc, so true
Above the Medes, above the realiti East > A copy pencil never drew.
Of Gallus’ song, so iender and so true, My Mufe her song had ended here,
As ev'n Lycuris might with pity view! [hearse, But both their Genii straight appear;
When mourning nymphs attend their Daphnis' Joy and amazement her did firike,
Who does not weep that reads the moving verse! Two twins the never saw so like.
But hear, oh hear, in what exalted strains 'Twas taught by wise Pythagoras,
Sicilian Mutes through thcte happy plaws One foul might thro’more bodics pass :
Proclaim Saturnian tine's - ur own Apollo Seeing such transmigration there,
reigns ! She thought it not a fable here,
When France had breath'. ,afterinteftine broils, Such a reimblance of all parts,
peace and conquefi crown'd her foreign toils, Life, death, age, fortune, nature, arts;
There (cultivated by a royal hand) Then lights her torch at theirs to tell,
Lcarning grew fast, and spread, and blest the land; And thew the world this parallel :
The choicefi books that Rome or Greece hayo Fixt and contemplative their looks,
Her excellent translators made her own: [known, Still turning over Nature's books:
And Europe itill considerably gains, Their works chaste, moral, and divine, Both by their good example and their pains, Where profit and delight combine;
From hence our generous emulation came; Thev, Iding dirt, in noble verse
We undertook, and we perform'd the fame. Rustic philosophy rehearse.
But now, we show the world a nobler way, When heroes, gods, or god-like kings,
And in translated verse do more than they; They praile, on their exalted wings
Serene, and clear, harmonious Horace flows, To the celeliial orbs they climb,
With sweetness not to be expreft in prose: And with th'harmonious spheres keep time: Degrading profe explains his meaning ill, Nor did their actions fall behind
And Thews the stuff, but not the workmau's skill : Their words, but with like candour shin'd; I (who have ferv’d him more than twenty years) Lach drew fair characters, yet none
Scarce know my master as he there appears. Of these they feign’d excels their own.
Vain are our neighbours hopes, and vain their Both by two generous princes lov'd,
cares ; Who knew, and judg'd what they approv'd.' The fault is more the language's than theirs : Yet having each the same desire,
'Tis courtly, florid, and abounds in words Both from the buly throng retire :
Of softer found than ours perhaps affords; Their bodies, to their ininds rehyn'd,
But who did ever in French authors fee Card not to propagate their kind:
The comprehensive English energy? Yet, tho' both fell before their hour,
The weighty bullion of one sterling line, Time on their offspring hath no pow'r,
Drawn to French wire, would thro' whole pages Nor fire nor fate their bays shall blast,
I peak my private, but iinpartial senie, (ihine. Nor death's dark seil their day o'ercast.
With freedom, and (I hopc) without offence;
For I'll recant, when France can fhew me wit § 25. An Fhay on Translated Verse.
As strong as ours, and as succinctly writ.
'Tis true, composing is a nobler part; HAPPY that author, ivhofe correct * cipay For the materials have long since been found,
Repairs so weil our old Horatian way: Yct both your fancy and your hands are bound; And happy you, who (by propitious fate) And by, improving what was writ before, On great Apoilu's facro standard wait, Invention labours less, but judgment more. And with firiet difcipline infinuered right,
The foil intended for Pierian feeds Wave learn'd to use your arms before you fight. ' Must be well purg'd from rank pedantic weeds.
John Sieffield duke of Buckinghamshirea
Apollo ftarts, and all Parnaffus fhakes,
Instruct the list’ning world hou Loling
The firlt great work (a taik perforin'd by few) But foul descriptions are offensive still,
Not by affected meretricious arts,
Learn, learn, Crotona's brawny wrofiler crics, which thro' the whole infenfibly must pass,
With vital heat to animate the mass :
A purc, an active, an aufpicious tame, [came;
No Rebel-Titan's facrilegious crime,
By heaping hills on hills, can hither climb:
The grizly ferryman of hell deny'd
Pride (of all others the most dang'rous fault)
With how much cale is a young Muse betray'd! For if your author be profoundly good,
'Twill cost you dear before he's understood.
Approach his altars with religious fear,
Heav'n fhakes not more at Jove's imperial nod,
Than poets should before their Mantuan god. Secure froin fuolith pride's affected state, Hail mighty Maro! may that facred name And fpecious flattry's more pernicious bait, Kindle
breast with thv celestial Hame;
What I have instanc'd only in the best,
Is, in proportion, true of all the rest.
Yet 'tis not all to have a subject good; Such secrets are not easily found out ;
But, once discover'd, leave no room for doubt.
Truth is still one ; truth is divinely bright, And all goes down like oxymcl of fquills. No cloudy doubts obscure her native ligh ;
Bukit mertli in't ju in the least debate, Another such had left the nation thin,
't neej till t. late. in spite of all the children he brought in. Your fryic win this throail dilyliiles Inow, His pills as thick as ha:d-gra: ados ôc * ; Fix none explain inore clearly than they know, And where they fell, as certainly they flew; 1. only proves he understands a text,
His name struck every ivhere as great a damp Whose exposition leaves it unperplex'd. As Archimedes thro’ the Roman camp. ley who too faithfully on names in it, With this, the doctor's pride began to cool; Rather create than dilipate the mist;
For smarting sou :dly may convince a fool. And grow unjust by being over-nice;
But now repentance came too late for grace; Turlut rstitious virtue turns to vice.
And meagre famine star'd him in the face; 1. Crasius' i* ghost and Labienus tell
Fain would he to the wives be reconcil'd, How twice in Parthian plains their legions fell. But found no husband left to own a child. Since Rome haih been to calous or ner fane, The film.ds that got the brats, were poiton's too; That few know l'acorus'cr Monzfes' name. In this iad case, what could our vermia do'
Words in onc language elegantly us'd, Worry'd with debts, and past all hope of bail, Will hardly in another be excus'd.
Th’unpity'd wretch lies rorting in a jail : And some that Rome adipii'u in Cæsar's time, And there with basket-alıns, scarce kept alive, May neither fuit our genius nor our clime. Shews how mistaken talents ought to thrive. The genuine fenfe , intelligibly told,
I pity, from my soul, unhappy men, Shew's a translator both discreet and bold. Compellid by want to prostitute their pen; Excursions are incxpiably bad;
Who muít, like lawyers, cither starve or plead, and 'uis much safer to leave out than add. And follow, right or wrong, whcic gu'ncas lead! Abftrufe and mystic thoughts you must express But you, Pompilian, wealthy pamper'd heirs, With painful care, but foeming easiness ; Who to your country owe your swords and cares, Fortruth shines brightest thro’the plainest dress. Let no vain hope your ealy mind seduce, Th’Encan Musc, when she appears in ftate, For rich ill poets are without excuse. Mikes all Jove's thunder on her verses wait. 'Tis very dangerous, tampering with a mufe, Y ct writes fometines as soft and moving things | The profit's small, and you have much to lose; As Venus ipeaks, or Philomela fings.
For tho' true wit adorns your birth or place, Your author always will the best advise; Degenerate lines degrade th’attainted race. Fall when he falls, and when ic rites rile.
No poet any passion can excite, Affected noise is the most wretched thing. But what they feel trantport them when theywise, That to contempt can empty scribblers bring. Have you been led thro' the Cumxan cave, Vowels and accents, regularly placid,
And heard th’impatient maid divinely rave? On even svilables (a id still the laft)
I hear her now; I see her rolling eves : Tho' gross innumerar le faults abound, And panting, Lo! the god, the gou, he cries; In spite of nonsense, never fail of found. With words not hers, and more than human found But this is meant of even verse alone,
She makes th’obedient ghosts peep trembling thro? As being most halinonious and most known :
the ground. For if you will uncqual numbers try,
But, tho'we must obey when Heav'n commands, There accents on odd Tvllables must lie.
And inan in vain the sacred call with tands, Whatever fifter of the learned Nine
Beware what fpirit rages in your breast; Does to your suit a willing ear incline,
For ten inspir’d, ten thousand are poteft. Unge your luccess, deterve a latiing name, Thus make the proper use of each extreine, She'll croin a grateful and a constant fame. And write with fury, but correct with phlegm, Lut, if a wild uncertainty prevail,
As when the cheerful hours too freely pals, And turn your veering heart with ev'ry gale, And sparkling wine (miles in the tempung glaf, You lofc the fruit of all your foriner care Your pulle advises, and begins to beat For the sad prospect of a just despair.
Thro' ev'ry swelling vein a loud retreat : A quack (100 fcandaloufiy mean to name) So when a inufe propitiously invites, Had, bv man-midwifery, got wealth and fame : Improve her favours, and indulge her flights; As if Luciua had forgot her trarle,
But when you find that vigorous heat atate, The labouring vite invokes fuis surer aid. Leare off, and for another summons wait, Weil-1eafoon'J bords the gollip's fpirits raisc, Before the radiant sun, a glimmering lamp, Whio, ivhile the guzzles,chats the doctor's praise; | Adulterate metals to the sterling siaip, And largely what the wants in words fupplics, Appear not incaner than mere human lines, With maudlin-eloquence of trickling eyes, Compar'd with those whose inspiration thines : But what a thoughtiels animal is man! Theli nervous, bold; thote languid and remils: (How verv a tive in his own trepan!)
There, cold saiutes; but here a lover's kiss. For, greedy of phvficians frequent fees, Thus have I seen a rapid, headlong ride, From famals millow praile he takes degrees ; With foaming waves the palling Soane divide; Struts in a new unlicens'd gown, and then, Whose lazy waters without motion lay, (war, From faving women, falls to killing men. While hc, with eager force, urg'd his impetuoci ** Hor. 3, Od. vi.
The privilege that ancient poets claiin, · Satan with vast and haughty strides adrancı, Now turn'd to licence by too jult a name,
• Caine tow'ring arm’d in adamant and gold. Belongs to none but an establish'd fame, • There bellowing engines, with their fiery subes Which (corns to take it
Ditpers’d æthereal forms, and down they tell Absurd expressions, crudc, abortive thoughts, By thousands, angels on arch-angels rolid; All the lewd legion of exploded faults,
• Recover'd to the hills they ran, they flew, Bale fugitives to that asylum fly,
• Which (with their pondeious load, rocks, wa." And sacred laws with infolence defy.
ters, woods) Not thus our heroes of the former days,
. From their firm feats, torn by the shaggy toes, Deservd and gain'd their never-fading bays;
• Thev bore like thields before them thro'the air, For I mistake, or far the greatest part
• Till more incens'd they hurld them at their focs. Of what some call neglect, was study's art.
• All was confusion, hcayen's foundations thook, When Virgil seems to trifle in a line,
* Threat’ning no less than universal wreck; Tis like a warning-piece, which gives the sign
• For Michael's arm main promontories Aung, To wake your fancy, and prepare your light, . And over-preft whole legions weak with sin: To reach the noble height of some unusual fligit. • Yet they blafphem'd and struggled as they lay, I lose my patience, when with faucy pride, • Till the great enlign of Mettiah blaz’d, By untun'd ears I hear his numbers try'd. • And (arm’d with vengeance) God's victorious Reverse of nature ! shall such copies then (Effulgence of paternal deity) Arraign th’originals of Maro's pen!
Grasping ten thoutand thunders in his hand, And the rude notions of pedantic schools • Drove th'old original rebels headlong down, Blafpheme the sacred founder of our rules ! • And sent them Aaming to the valt abyss.' The delicacy of the nicest ear
O may I live to heal the glorious day, Finds nothing harsh, or out of order there.
And sing loud pæans thro' the crowded way, Sublime or low, unbended or intense ;
When in triumphant state the British Musé, The found is still a cominent to the sense. True to herself, thall barbarous aid refuse,
A skiiful car in numbers should preside, And in the Roman majesty appear, And all disputes without appcal decide.
Which none know better, and none come so near. This ancient Rome, and elder Athens found, Before mistaken ficps debauch'd the found. When by impulse from Heav'n, Tyrtæus sung,
§ 26. Absalom and Achitophel. DRYDEN. In drooping toldiers a new courage iprung; IN pious times, ere priestcraft did begin, Reviving Sparta now the flight maintain’d, Before polygamy was made a sin; And what two gen’rals loft a poet gain’d. When man on many multiply'd his kind, By secret influence of indulgent skics,
Ere one to one was cursedly confind; Empire and poefy together rifc.
When nature prompted, and no law deny'd True pocts are the guardians of the state, Promiscuous use of concubine and bride, And, when they fail, portend approaching fate. Then Ifrael's monarch, after Heav'n's own heart, For that which Rome to conquest did inspire, His vigorous warmth did variously impart Was not the veftal, but the mufe's fire;
To wives and saves; and wide as his command, Heav'n joins the bletlinys : no declining age Scatter'd his Maker's image thro' the land. E'er felt the raptures of poetic rage.
Michal, of royal blood, the crown did wear; Of many faults, rhyme is (perhaps) the cause; A foil ungrateful to the tiller's care : Too ftrict to rhyme, we flight more useful laws; Not so the rest ; for lev'ral mothers bore For that, in Greece or Rome, was never known, To god-like David lev'ral fons before. Till by barbarian deluges o'erfown:
But lince, like flaves, his bed they did ascend, Subdu'd, undone, they did at last obey,
No true succetlion could their feed attend.
I grant, that from fome moffv, idol oak, So beautiful, fo brave, as Abfalom :
His father got hiin with a greater gust;
But now that Phæbus and the sacred Nine, By manly beauty, to imperial sıvay. With all their beams on our blest illand thine, Early in foreign fields he won renown, Why Iliould not we their ancient rites restore, With kings and states ally'd to Israel's crown: And be, what Rome or Athens were before? In peace the thoughts of war he could remove, •* Have forgot how Raphael's numerous prose And seem'd as he were only born for love. · Led our exalted souls thro' heavenly camps, Whate'er he did was done with so much ease, • And mark’d the ground where proud apostate In him alone 'twas natural to pleasc: • thrones
His motions all accompany'd with grace ; • Defy'd Jehovah! here, 'ruixt host and hoft, And paradise was open'd in his face. (A narrow, but a dreadful interval)
With secret joy, indulgent David view'd • Portentous fight! before the cloudy van His youthful image in his son rcncw'd :
* An Essay on Blank Verse, out of Paradise Loft, B. VI.