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TO MY FRIEND MR.'DRY DEN,
ON HIS EXCELLENT TRANSLATIONS.
S Аowers transplanted from a southern sky
But hardly bear, or in the raising die,
Missing their native sun, at best retain
But a faint odour, and survive with pain :
Thus ancient wit, in modern numbers taught,
Wanting the warmth with which its author wrote,
Is a dead image, and a senseless draught :
While we transfuse, the nimble spirit flies,
Escapes unseen, evaporates, and dies.
Who then to copy Roman wit desire,
Muft imitate with Roman force and fire;
In elegance of style and phrase the same,
And in the sparkling genius and the flame :
Whence we conclude from thy translated song,
So just, so smooth, so soft, and yet so strong,
Celestial charmer! foul of harmony !
That every genius was reviv'd in thee,
Thy trumpet founds, the dead are rais'd to light,
Never to die, and take to heaven their flight,
Deckt in thy verse, as clad with rays they shine,
All glorify'd, immortal, and divine,
As Britain in rich foil abounding wide,
Furnish'd for use, for luxury, and pride,
Yet spreads her wanton fails on every shore
For forcing wealth, impatient still of more;
To her own wool the filk of Asia joins,
And to her plenteous harvefts, Indian mines :
So Dryden, not contented with the fame
Of his own works, though an immortal name,
To lands remote sends forth his learned Mufe,
The noblest seeds of foreign wit to chufe:
Fea sting our sense so many various ways,
Say, is 't thy bounty? or thy thirit of praise?
That, by comparing others, all might see
Wkio most excel, are yet excell'd by thee.
Upon a Hearing, in the House of Lords, of a Cause
be (ween her Grace the Dutchers of GRAFTON and the Lord Chief Justice.
"HE princes fate. Beauty and Law contend :
The Qucen of Love will her own cause defend.
Secure the looks, as certain none can fee
Such beauty plead, and not her captive be.
What need of words with such commanding eyes !
Must I then speak? O heavens ! the charmer cries;
O barbarous clime, where beauty borrows aid
From eloquence, to charm, or to perfuade!
Will Discord never leave with envious Care
To raise debate? But Discord governs here.
To Juno, Pallas, Wisdom, Fame, and Power,
Long since preferrd, what trial needs there more ?
Confest to fight, three goddesses descend
On Ida's Hill, and for a prize contend,
Nobly they bid, and lavishly pursue
A gift, that only could be Beauty's due :
Honours and wealth the generous judge denies,
And gives the triumph to the brightest eyes.
Such precedents are numberless : we draw
Our right from custom : custom is a law,
As high as heaven, as wide as feas and land,
As ancient as the world is our command.
It might suffice that I pronounce it mine,
And right or wrong he lhould his claim resign,
Mars and Alcides would this plea allow,
Beauty was ever absolute till now.
Not bears nor tigers fure so savage are
As these ill-manner'd monsters of the bar.
Loud Rumour has proclaim'd a nymph divine,
Whose matchless form, to counter balance mine,
By dint of beauty shall extort your grace :
Let her appear, this rival, face to face,
Let eyes to eyes oppos'd this strife decide;
Now when I lighten let her beams be try'd.
Was 't a vain promise, and a gown-man’s lie ?
Or stands the here, unmark'd, when I am by ?
So heaven was mock'd, and once all Elis round
Another Jupiter was said to found ;
On brazen floors, the royal actor tries
To ape the thunder rattling in the skies;
A brandish'd torch, with emulating blaze,
Affects the forky lightning's pointed rays ?
Thus borne aloft, triumphantly he rode
Through crowds of worshipers, and acts the god.
The Sire Omnipotent prepares the brand
By Vulcan wrought, and arms his potent hand,
Then flaming hurls it hissing from above,
And in the vast abyss confounds the mimic Jove.
Presumptuous wretch! with mortal art to dare
Immortal power, and brave the Thunderer.
Cassiope, preferring with disdain
Her daughter to the Nereids, they complain :
The daughter, for the mother's guilty fcorn,
Is doom'd to be devour'd; the mother's borne
Above the clouds, where by immortal light
Revers'd the thines, expos’d to human fight,
And to a shameful posture is confin'd,
As an eternal terror to mankind.
Did thus the gods such private nymphs protect,
What vengeance might the Queen of Love expect !
But grant such arbitrary pleas are vain,
Wav'd let them be; mere justice fhall obtain :
Who to a husband better can succeed,
Than his lov'd wife, the partner of his bed ?
Or to a father's right lay stronger claim,
Than the dear youth in whom survives his name?
Behold that youth, consider whence he springs,
And in his royal veins respect your kings;
Immortal Jove upon a mortal she
Begat his fire : second from Jove is he.
Well did the father blindly fight your cause,
Following the cry of liberty and laws,
If by those laws, for which he lost his life,
You spoil ungratefully the son and wife.
What need I more? 'twere treason to dispute ?
'The grant was royal : that decides the suit :
Shall vulgar laws imperial power constrain ?
Kings and the gods can never act in vain.
She finish'd here, the queen of every grace,
Disdain vermilioning her heavenly face;
Our hearts take fire, and all in tumult rise,
And one wish sparkles in a thousand eyes.
O might some champion finish these debates,
My tword should end what now my. Muse relates.
Up rose the judge, on each side bending low,
A crafty smile accompanies his bow;
L'lyties-like, a gentle pause he makes,
Then, raising by degrees his voice, he speaks :
In you, my lords, who judge, and all that hear,
Methinks I read your wishes for the fair;
Nor can I wonder ; even I contend
With secret pain, unwilling to offend ;
Unhappy, thus oblig'd to a defence
That may displease such heavenly excellence.
Might we the laws on any terms abuse,
So bright an influence were the best excuse.
Let Niobe's just doom, the vile disgrace
Of the Propetides polluted race,
Let death, or shame, or lunacy, surprize,
Who dare to match the lustre of her eyes :
Aloud the fairest of the sex complain
Of captives loft, and loves invok'd in vain :
At her appearance all their brightness ends,
Those stars of beauty set when she ascends.