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From thence a thousand lefser poets sprung,
Like petty princes from the fall of Rome ;
When Jonson, Shakespeare, and thyself did fit,
And fway'd in the triumvirate of wit---
Yet what from Jonson's oil and fweat did flow,
Or what more easy nature did bestow
On Shakespeare's gentler Mufe, in thee full grown
graces both appear, yet so that none
Can say here Nature ends, and Art begins,
But mixt like th' elements, and born like twins,
So interwove, so like, so much the same,
None, this mere Nature, that mere Art can name :
Twas this the ancients meant ; Nature and Skill
Are the two tops of their Parnassus' hill.
is our pride, our folly, or our fate,
That few but such as cannot write, translate.
But what in them is vant of art or voice,
In thee is either modesty or choice.
While this great piece, restor'd by thee, doth stand
Free from the blemish of an artlefs hand,
Secure of fame, thou justly doft esteem
Lefs honour to create, than to redeem.
Nor ought a genius less than his that writ,
Attempt tranflation ; for transplanted wit,
All the defects of air and foil doth share,
And colder brains like colder climates are :
In vain they toil, since nothing can beget
A vital spirit but a vital heat.
That fervile path thou nobly dost decline
Of tracing word by word, and line by line.
Those are the labour'd births of flavish brains,
Not the effect of poetry, but pains ;
Cheap vulgar arts, whose narrowness affords
No flight for thoughts, but poorly sticks at words.
A new and nobler
thou dost pursue
To make translations and translators too.
They but preserve the ashes, thou the flame,
True to his sense, but truer to his fame.
Fording his current, where thou find’st it low,
Let'st in thine own to make it rise and flow;
Wisely restoring whatsoever grace
It lost by change of times, or tongues, or place.
Nor fetter'd to his numbers and his times,
Betray'st his music to unhappy rhymes.
Nor are the nerves of his compacted strength
Stretch'd and dissolv'd into unsinew'd length :
Yet, after all, (lest we should think it thine)
Thy spirit to his circle dost confine.
New names, new dressings, and the modern cast,
Some scenes, some persons alter'd, and out-fac'd
The world, it were thy work; for we have known
Some thank'd and prais’d for what was less their own.
That master's hand which to the life can trace
The airs, the lines, and features of the face,
May with a free and bolder stroke express
A vary'd pofture, or a flattering dress ;
He could have made those like, who made the rest,
But that he knew his own design was best.
Pool. To thee, dear Tom, myself addreffing,
. , ,
Most queremoniously confessing,
That I of late have been compressing.
Destitute of my wonted gravity,
I perpetrated arts of pravity,
In a contagious concavity.
Making efforts with all my puissance,
For some venereal rejouissance,
I got (as one may say) a nuysance.
Kil. Come leave this fooling, cousin Pooly,
And in plain English tell us truly
Why under th' eyes you look so bluely ?
'Tis not your hard words will avail you,
Your Latin and your Greek will fail you,
Till you speak plainly what doth ail you.
When young, you led a life monastic,
And wore a vest ecclesiastic;
Now in your age you grow fantastic.
Pool. Without more preface or formality,
A female of malignant quality
Set fire on label of mortality.
The fæces of which ulceration
Brought o'er the helm a distillation,
Through th' instrument of propagation.
Kil. Then cousin, (as I guess the matter)
You have been an old fornicator,
And now are shot 'twixt wind and water.
Your style has such an ill complexion,
That from your breath I fear infection,
That even your mouth needs an injection.
You that were once so oeconomic,
Quitting the thrifty style laconic,
Turn prodigal in makeronic.
Yet be of comfort, I shall send-a
Person of knowledge, who can mend-a
Disaster in your nether end-a---
you that are a man of learning,
So read in Virgil, so difcerning,
Methinks towards fifty should take warning.
Once in a pit you did * miscarry,
That danger might have made one wary;
This pit is deeper than the quarry.
Pool. Give me not such disconfolation,
Having now cur’d my inflammation,
To ulcerate my reputation.
Though it may gain the ladies favour,
raise an evil favour
Upon all grave and staid behaviour.
And I will rub my Mater Pia,
To find a rhyme to Gonorrheia,
* Hunting near Paris, he and his horse fell into a quarry.