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ODE TO GENIU S. Thou

HOU child of nature, genius strong, ,
Thou master of the poet's song,
Before whose light, Art's dim and feeble ray
Gleams like the taper in the blaze of day:
Thou lov'st to steal along the secret shade,

Where Fancy, bright aerial maid !
Awaits thee with her thousand charms,
And revels in thy wanton arms.
She to thy bed, in days of yore,

The sweetly warbling Shakespeare bore;
Whom every muse endow'd with every skill,

And dipt him in that sacred rill, Whose silver streams Aow musical along, Where Phoebus' hallow'd mount resounds with rap

tur'd song.

Forsake not thou the vocal choir, Their breasts revisit with thy genial fire, Elle vain the studied sounds of mimic art, Tickle the ear, but come not near the heart. Vain every phrase in curious order fet, On each side leaning on the [stop-gap] epithet. Vain the quick rhyme still tinkling in the close, While pure description shines in measur'd profe.

Thou bear'st aloof, and look'st with high disdain,

Upon the dull mechanic train; Whose nerveless strains flag on in languid tone, Lifeless and lumpish as the bagpipe's drowzy drone.

No longer now thy altars blaze,
No poet offers up his lays;
Inspir'd with energy divine,
To worship at thy facred shrine.
Since taste * with absolute domain,
Extending wide her leaden reign,

Kills with her melancholy shade,
The blooming scyons of fair fancy's tree;

Which erst full wantonly have stray'd
In many a wreath of richest poesie.

For when the oak denies her stay,
The creeping ivy winds her humble way;

No more the twists her branches round,
But drags her feeble stem along the barren ground.

Where then shall exil'd genius go ?
Since only those the laurel claim,
And boast them of the poet's name,
Whose sober rhymes in even tenour flow;

* By Taste, is here meant the modern affectation of it.

Who

Who prey on words, and all their flow'rets cull,
Coldly correct, and regularly dull.

Why sleep the fons of genius now?
Why, Wartons, rests the lyre unstrung?

*And thou, blest bard! around whose facred brow, Great Pindar's delegated wreath is hung:

Arise, and snatch the majesty of song From dullness' servile tribe, and art's unhallow'd

throng.

* Dr. Akenside.

PRO

PROLOGUS,

1757.

Est Schola Raetorices, celebrat quam crebra

juventus,

Et tumido inflatos ejicit ore fonos. Quà quisque assumit tragicas novus histrio partes,

Nec loquitur, verbum quin fapit omne, pathos. Ingenia hic crescunt, mox fucceffura theatris,

Regis, amatoris, prompta fubire vices.
Multus ibi furiis Macbetha agitatus iniquis,

Elusâ telum prendit inane manu.
Muitus ibi, infuscat cui vultus suber aduftum

Immodicis fævit raucus Othello minis.
Omnia queis tragicis opus eft, hic arma parantur ;

Auribus infidiæ sunt, oculisque suæ: Conatus manuumque, pedumque, orisque rotundi,

Certatim et vultus vis, laterumque labor. Quam fibi, dum gestu stat fixus quisque filenti,

Quam placet a speculo forma reflexa sui! Hac studeant, cordi quibus ars et pompa theatri !

Non tamen est nobis inde petendus honor. Ingenua ut pubes vultum sibi sumat apertum,

Et sensim assuescat fortius ore loqui; Ne dubiis tandem verba eluctantia labris Occludat timidus præpediatque pudor,

Ingre

Ingredimur scenam; nec clam Vos, Docta Corona,

Commoda ab học tenui quanta labore Auant. Hinc SAPERE ET FARI discit generofa juventus,

Dum pavida accendit pectora laudis amor. Freti his, majorem mox ingrediemur arenam;

Hiç ftabilita vigent Curia, Roftra, Forum.

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VOL. II.

M

PRO.

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