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When with the winds old * Ocean he deforms,
Or paints the rage and horrors of the storms;
Or drives on pointed rocks the bursting ships,
Toft on the Euxine, or Sicilian deeps.
Or fings the † plagues that blaft the livid sky,
When beasts by herds, and men by nations die;
Or the fierce flames § that Ætna's jaws expire,
Her melted rocks, and deluges of fire,
When from her mouth the bursting vapour flies,
And, charg'd with ruin, thunders to the skies;
While drifts of smoak in footy whirlwinds play,
And clouds of cinders stain the golden day.
See ! as the Poet sounds the dire alarms,
Calls on the war, and sets the hosts in arms;
Squadrons on squadrons driven, confus’dly die;
Grim Mars in all his terrors strikes the eye ;
More than description rifing to the light,
Presents the real horrors of the fight;
A new creation feems our praise to claim ;
(Hence Greece derives the sacred || Poet's name ;)
The dreadful clang of clashing arms we hear;
The agonizing groan, the fruitless prayer,
And Ihricks of suppliants thicken on the ear.
Who, when he reads a I city storm’d, forbears
To feel her woes, and sympathize in tears ?
When o’er the palaces the flames aspire
From wall to wall, and wrap the domes in fire ?
* Æneid. Lib, I. + Ibid. Lib. III. v. 137.
§ Ibid. V. $7I. Η Α το ωοιείν. I. Vid. Æneid. Lib. II.
'The fire, with years and hostile rage oppreft!
The starting infant, clinging to the breaft!
The trembling mother runs, with piercing cries,
Through friends and foes, and shrieking rends the skies.
Drag'd from the altar, the distracted fair
Beats her white breast, and tears her golden hair.
Here in thick crowds the vanquish'd fly away,
There the proud victors heap the wealthy prey;
With rage relentless ravage their abodes,
Nor spare the sacred temples of the Gods.
O'er the whole town they run with wild affright,
Tumultuous haste, and violence of flight.
Why should I mention how our souls aspire,
Lost in the raptures of the sacred fire ?
For ev’n the foul not always holds the fame,
But knows at different times a different frame.
Whether with rolling seasons she complies,
Turns with the sun, or changes with the skies
Or through long toil, remiffive of her fires,
Droops with the mortal frame her force inspires;
Or that our minds alternately appear
Now bright with joy, and now o'ercast with care.
No!-but the Gods, th’immortal Gods fupply
The glorious fires; they speak the deity.
Then blest is he who waits th’auspicious nod,
The warmth divine, and presence of the God;
Who his suspended labours can restrain,
Till heaven's serene indulgence (miles again.
But strive, on no pretence, against your power,
Till time brings back the voluntary hour.
ometimes their verdant honours leave the woods,
Ind their dry urns defraud the thirsty floods;
Jor ftill the rivers a full channel yield,
Jor Spring with flowery beauties paints the field :
The Bards no less such fickle changes find,
Dampt is the noble ardor of the mind;
Their wonted toil her wearied powers refuse;
Their souls grow flack and languid to the Muse,
Deaf to their call; their efforts are with tood;
Round their cold hearts congeals the freezing blood.
You'd think the Muses fled; the God no more
Would fire the bosom where he dwelt before,
No more return !- how often, though in vain,
The Poet would renew the wonted strain !
Nor sees the Gods who thwart his fruitless care,
Nor angry Heaven relentless to his prayer.
Some read the antient Bards, of deathless fame,
And from their raptures catch the noble flame
By just degrees; they feed the glowing vein,
And all th’immortal ardour burns again
In its full light and heat; the sun's bright ray
Thus (when the clouds disperse) restores the day :
Whence thot this suddep flash that gilds the pole?
The God, the God comes rushing on his soul;
Fires with æthereal vigour every part,
Through every trembling limb he seems to dart,
Works in each vein, and (wells his rising heart.
Deep in his breast the heavenly tumult plays,
And sets his mounting spirits on a blaze.
Nor cân the raging flames themselves contain, For the whole God descends into the man. He quits mortality, he knows no bounds, But sings inspir’d in more than human sounds. Nor from his breast can shake th' immortal load, But pants and raves impatient of the God; And, rapt beyond himself, admires the force That drives him on reluctant to the course. He calls on Phoebus, by the God opprest, Who breathes exceffive spirit in his breast; No force of thirst or hunger can control The fierce, the ruling transport of his soul. Oft in their sleep, inspir’d with rage divine, Some Bards enjoy the visions of the Nine : Visions! themselves with due applause may crown, Visions ! that Phoebus or that Jove may own. To such an height the God exalts the flame, And so unbounded is their thirst of fame. But here, ye youths, exert your timely care, Nor trust th’ungovernable rage too far; Use not your fortune, nor unfurl your sails, Though softly courted by the flattering gales, Refuse them still; and call your judgment in, While the fierce God exults and reigns within ; To reason's standard be your thoughts confin'd, Let judgment calm the tempest of the mind. Indulge your heat with conduct, and restrain ; Learn when to draw, and when to give the rein.. But always wait till the warm raptures cease, And lull the tumults of the soul to peace ;
Then, nor till then, examine ftri&tly o'er
What your wild fallies might suggest before.
Be sure, froin nature never to depart ;
To copy nature is the task of art.
The noblest poets own her sovereign (way,
And ever follow where the leads the way.
From her the different characters they trace,
That mark the human or the savage race,
Each various and distinct; in every stage
They paint mankind; their humours, sex, and age;
They shew what manners the low fage become,
What the brilk youth in all his sprightly bloom.
In every word and sentiment explain,
How the proud monarch differs from the Swain.
I nauseate all confounded characters,
Where young Teleinachus too grave appears,
Or reverend Nestor acts beneath his years.
The poet suits his speeches, when he sings,
To proper persons, and the state of things ;
On each their just distinctions are bestow'd,
To mark a male, a female, or a God.
Thus when in * heaven seditious tumults rise,
Amongst the radiant senate of the skies,
The fire of Gods, and sovereign of mankind,
In a few words unfolds his sacred mind.
Not fo fair Venus; who at large replies,
And pities Troy, and counts her miseries,
Woes undeserv'd: but with contention fir'd,
And with the spirit of revenge inspir’d,
Vid. Æneid. Lib. X.