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But I will not trespass further on my reader's patience in prose, since I shall have occasion enough for it, as well as for his good-nature, in the following verses ; concerning which I must acquaint him, that some of them were written several years since, and that I have precisely observed the rule of onr great master Horace Nonumque prematur in annum.
But I may say more justly than Mr. Prior faid of himself in the like case, that I have observed the Letter, more than the Spirit of
To Mr. CHRISTOPHER Pitt, on his Poems
FORGIVE thoambitious fondness of a friend,
For such thy worth, 'tis glory to commend ;
To thee, from judgment, such applause is due,
I praise myself while I am praising you ;
As he who bears the lighted torch, receives
Himself assistance from the light he gives.
So much you please, so vast is my delight,
Thy, ev’n thy fancy cannot reach its height.
In vain I strive to make the transport known,
No language can describe it but thy own.
Could'st thou thy genius pour into my heart,
Thy copious fancy, thy engaging art,
Thy vigorous thoughts, thy manly flow of sense,
Thy strong and glowing paint of eloquence ;
Then should'st thou well conceive that happiness,
Which I alone can feel, and you express.
In scenes which thy invention sets to view,
Forgive me, friend, if I lose sight of you ;
I see with how much spirit Homer thought,
With how much judgment cooler Virgil wrote ;
In every line, in every word you speak,
I read the Roman, and confess the Greek ;
Forgetting thee, my soul with rapture swellid,
Cries out,“ how much the ancient bards excell'd!"
But when thy just translations introduce
To nearer converse aay Latian Muse,
The several beauties you so well express,
I lose the Roman in the British dress!
Sweetly deceiv’d, the ancients I contemn,
And with mistaken zeal to thee exclaim,
(By so much nature, so much art betray'd)
“ What vast improvements have our moderns made !"
How vain and unsuccessful seems the toil,
To raise such precious fruits in foreign soil
They mourn, transplanted to another coait,
Their beauties languid, and their flavour loft!
But such tly art, the ripening colours glow
As pure as those their native suns bestow;
Not an insipid beauty only yield,
But breathe the odours of Ausonia's field.
Such is the genuine flavour, it belies
Their stranger foil, and unacquainted skies.
Vida no more the long oblivion fears,
Which hid his virtues through a length of years ;
Ally'd to thee, he lives again; thy rhymes
Shall friendly hand him down to latest times;
Shall do his injur'd reputation right,
While in thy work with such success unite
His strength of judgment, and his charms of speech,
That precepts please, and music seenıs to teach.
Left unimprov'd I seem to read thee o'er,
Th'unhallow'd rapture I indulge no more ;
By thee instructed, I the task forsake,
Nor for chaste love, the lust of verse mistake;
Thy works that rais'd this frenzy in my soul,
Shall teach the giddy tumult to control :
am with every
Since the coy virgins fly my eager arms,
* I 'll quit the work, throw by my strong desire,
And from thy praise, reluctantly retire.
An Epistle to Dr. EDWARD YOUNG, at
Eastbury, in Dorsetshire, on the Review at
Sarum, 1722. WHILE
THILE with your Doddington retir'd you fit,
Charm'd with his flowing Burgundy and wit ; By turns relieving with the circling draught, Each pause of chat, and interval of thought : Or through the well-glaz'd tube, from business freed, Draw the rich fpirit of the Indian weed; Or bid your eyes o’er Vanbrugh’s models roam, And trace in miniature the future dome (While bufy fancy with imagin'd power Builds
the work of ages in an hour);
Or, loft in thought, contemplative you rove,
Through opening vista's, and the Mady grove ;
Where a new Eden in the wilds is found,
And all the seasons in a spot of ground :
There, if you exercise your tragic rage,
To bring some hero on the British Stage;