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(Unwilling now to grow,) Looks like the plume a captain wears, Whofe rifled falls are fteept i'th' tears Which from his last rage



The piteous river wept itself away,
Long fince (alas!) to fuch a swift decay,
That reach the map, and look

If you a river there can spy:

And, for a river, your mock'd eye

Will find a fhallow brooke.


On the Effigies of SHAKESPEARE, prefixed to his printed Works.

THIS figure, that thou here feeff

It was for gentle Shakespeare cut;

Wherein the graver had a strife
With nature, to out-doo the life:
O, could he but have drawn his wit
As well in braffe, as he hath hit

His face; the print would then furpaffe
All, that was ever writ in braffe.
But, fince he cannot, reader, look

Not on his picture, but his book.


B. I.

To the Memory of my Beloved, the Author, Mr. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE


And what he hath left us..

O draw no envy (Shakespeare) on thy name
Am I thus ample to thy book, and fame:
While I confefs thy writings to be fuch,
As neither man, nor muse, can praife too much.

"Tis true, and all mens fuffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praife:
For feelieft ignorance on thefe may light,

Which, when it founds at beft, but echoes right;
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin, where it feem'd to raife.
These are, as fome infamous bawd, or whore,
Should praife a matron. What could hurt her more?
But thou art proof against them, and, indeed,
Above th' ill fortune of them, or the need.
I therefore will begin-Soul of the age!
Th' applaufe! delight! the wonder of our ftage!
My Shakespeare, rife! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenfer, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room:
Thou art a monument without a tomb.
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not mix thee fo, my brain excufes;
I mean with great, but difproportion'd mufes:
For if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee, furely, with thy peers:
And tell how far thou didst our Lilly out-fhine,
Or sporting Kid, or Marlow's mighty line.
And though thou hadft small Latin and lefs Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not feek
For names; but call forth thund'ring Efchylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles to us,

Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To live again, to hear thy Bufkin tread,
And shake a ftage: Or, when thy focks were on,
Leave thee alone for the comparifon

Of all, that infolent Greece, or haughty Rome
Sent forth, or fince did from their afhes come.
Triumph, my Britain! thou haft one to show,
To whom all fcenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time!
And all the muses still were in their prime,

When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm.
Nature herself was proud of his defigns,
And joy'd to wear the dreffing of his lines:
Which were fo richly fpun, and wove so fit,
As, fince, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Ariftophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
But antiquated, and deferted lie,
As they were not of nature's family.
Yet muft I not give nature all: Thy art,
My gentle Shakespeare, muft enjoy a part.
For though the Poet's matter nature be,
His art doth give the fashion: And, that he,
Who cafts to write a living line, muft sweat
(Such as thine are) and strike the second beat
Upon the muses anvile; turn the fame,
(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame,
Or for the laurel he may gain a scorn:
For a good Poet's made, as well as born.

And fuch wert thou. Look how the father's face
Lives in his iffue, even fo the race

Of Shakespeare's mind and manners brightly fhines
In his well torned, and true-filed lines:

In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandifh'd at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a fight it were
To fee thee in our water yet appear,

And make thofe flights upon the banks of Thamesy
That fo did take Eliza and our James!

But ftay, I fee thee in the hemifphere

Advanc'd, and made a conftellation there!

Shine forth, thou ftarre of Poets! and with rage,
Or influence, chide, or chear, the drooping ftage:
Which, fince thy flight from hence, hath mourn'd like


And despairs day, but for thy volume's light..

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HE attempt to write upon SHAKE SPEARE is like going into a large, a fpacious, and a fplendid dome, through the conveyance of a narrow and obfcure entry. A glare of light fuddenly breaks upon you beyond what the avenue at firft promised and a thousand beauties of genius and character, like fo many gaudy apartments pouring at once upon the eye, diffuse and throw themselves out to the mind. The prospect is too wide to come within the compass of a single view: 'tis a gay confusion of pleafing objects, too various to be enjoyed but in a general admiration; and they must be feparated, and eyed diftinctly, in order to give the proper entertainment.

And as in great piles of building, fome parts are often finished up to hit the taste of the con noisseur; others more negligently put together, to

ftrike the fancy of a common and unlearned be holder: Some parts are made ftupendously magnificent and grand, to furprize with the vaft defign. and execution of the architect; others are con tracted, to amuse you with his neatness and elegance in little. So, in Shakespeare, we may find Traits that will ftand the test of the feverest judgment; and strokes as carelessly hit off, to the level of the more ordinary capacities: Some descriptions raised to that pitch of grandeur, as to aftonish you with the compafs and elevation of his thought: and others copying nature within fo narrow, fo confined a circle, as if the author's talent lay only at drawing in miniature.

In how many points of light muft we be ob liged to gaze at this great poet! In how many branches of excellence to confider, and admire him! Whether we view him on the fide of art or nature, he ought equally to engage our attention: Whether we refpect the force and greatnefs of his genius, the extent of his knowledge and reading, the power and addrefs with which he throws out and applies either nature, or learning, there is ample fcope both for our wonder and pleasure. If his diction, and the cloathing of his thoughts attract us, how much more must we be charmed with the richness, and variety of his images and ideas! If his images and ideas fteal into our Souls, and ftrike upon our fancy, how much are they improved in price, when we come


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