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For that which Rome to conquest did inspire, Spenser improv'd it with his painful hand,
But lost a noble Muse in fairy-land.
And Jonson added Industry and Art. Of many faults, rhyme is, perhaps, the cause; Cowley and Denham gain'd immortal praise; Too striet to rhyme, we slight more useful laws, And some, who merit as they wear the bays, For that, in Greece or Rome, was never known, Search'd all the treasuries of Greece and Rome, Till by barbarian deluges o'erflown:
And brought the precious spoils in triumph home. Subdued, undone, they did at last obey,
But still our language had some ancient rust; And change their own for their invaders' way. Our flights were often high, but seldom just. I grant that from some mossy, idol oak,
There wanted one, who licence could restrain, In double rhymes our Thor and Woden spoke; Make civil laws o'er barbarous usage reign: And by succession of unlearned times,
One worthy in Apollo's chair to sit, As bards began, so monks rung on the chimes. To hold the scales, and give the stamp of wit;
But now that Phæbus and the sacred Nine, In whom ripe Judgment and young Fancy meet, With all their beams on our blest island shine, And force poetic Rage to be discreet; Why should not we their ancient rights restore, Who grows not nauseous while he strives to please, And be, what Rome or Athens were before?
Brat marks the shelves in the poetic seas. “ Have we forgot how Raphael's numerous prose Who knows, and teaches what our clime can bear, Led our exalted souls through heavenly camps, And makes the barren ground obey the labourer's And mark'd the ground where proud apostate thrones Defy'd Jehovah ! Here, 'twixt host and host, Few could conceive, none the great work could do, (A narrow, but a dreadful interval)
'Tis a fresh province, and reserv'd for you. Portentous sight! before the cloudy van
Those talents all are yours, of which but one Satan with vast and haughty strides advancd, Were a fair fortune for a Muse's son; Came towering arm'd in adamant and gold. Wit, reading, judgment, conversation, art, There bellowing engines, with their fiery tubes, A head well balanc'd, and a generous heart. Dispers'd ethereal forms, and down they fell While insect rhymes cloud the polluted sky, By thousands, angels on archangels rolld; Created to molest the world, and die, Recover'd, to the hills they ran, they few, Your file does polish what your fancy cast; Which (with their ponderous load, rocks, waters, Works are long forming which must always last. woods)
Rough iron sense, and stubborn to the mold, From their firm seats torn by the shaggy tops Touch'd by your chymic band, is turn’d to gold. They bore like shields before them through the air, A secret grace fashions the flowing lines, Till more incens'd they hurl'd them at their foes. And inspiration through the labour shines. All was confusion, Heaven's foundation shook, Writers, in spite of all their paint and art, Threat'ning no less than universal wreck,
Betray the darling passion of their heart. For Michael's arm main promontories flung, No fame you wound, give no chaste ears offence, And over-prest whole legions weak with sin: . Still true to friendship, modesty, and sense. Yet they blasphem'd and struggled as they lay, So saints, from Heaven for our example sent, Till the great ensign of Messiah blaz'd,
Live to their rules, have nothing to repent. And (arm'd with vengeance) God's victorious Son, Horace, if living, by exchange of fate, (Effulgence of paternal Deity)
Would give no laws, but only yours translate. Grasping ten thousand thunders in his hand,
Hoist sail, bold writers, search, discover far, Drove th' old original rebels headlong down, You have a compass for a polar-star. And sent them flaming to the vast abyss 3." Tune Orpheus' harp, and with enchanting rhymes O may I live to hail the glorious day,
Soften the savage humour of the times. And sing loud pæans through the crowded way, Tell all those untouch'd wonders which appear'd When in triumphant state the British Muse, When Fate itself for our great monarch fear'd: True to herself, shall barbarous aid refuse,
Securely through the dangerous forest led And in the Roman majesty appear,
By guards of angels, when his own were fled. Which none know better, and none come so near. Heaven kindly exercis'd his youth with cares,
To crown with unmix'd joys his riper years.
The second hope and genius of the throne.
To tame the fury of a monstrous age.
But what blest voice shall your Maria sing?
Or a fit offering to her altars bring?
Great always, without aiming to be great.
True Roman majesty adorns her face;
To prophesy how she, by Heaven's design,
Shall give an heir to the great British line, 3 An Essay on Blank Verse, out of Paradise Lost, Who over all the western isles shall reign, t. vi.
Both awe the continent, and rule the main,
BY MR. NEEDLER.
It is your place to wait upon her name
Nor shall thy Muse the graver's pencil need, Through the vast regions of eternal fame.
To draw the hero on his prancing steed; True poets' souls to princes are ally'd,
Thy living verse shall paint th' embattled host And the world's empire with its kings divide. In bolder figures than his art can boast. Heaven trusts the present time to monarchs' care, While the low tribe of vulgar writers strive, Eternity is the good writer's share!
By mean false arts, to make their versions live;
My latent sense thy happier thought explores, TO THE EARL OF ROSCOMMON; And injur'd Maro to himself restores."
PARAPHRASE ON THE CXLVIIIth PSALM. That happy Britain boasts her tuneful race,
O AZURE vaults! O crystal sky!
The world's transparent canopy,
Break your long silence, and let mortals know To you alone, illustrious earl! to you.
With what contempt you look on things below. For soon as Horace, with his artful page,
Wing'd squadrons of the god of war, By thee explain'd, had taught the listening age;
Who conquer wheresoe'er you are, Of brightest bards arose a skilful train,
Let echoing anthems make his praises known Who sweetly sung in their immortal strain.
On Earth his footstool, as in Heaven his throne. No more content great Maro's steps to trace, New paths we search, and tread unbeaten ways.
Great eye of all whose glorious ray Ye Britons, then, triumphantly rejoice;
Rules the bright empire of the day, And with loud peals, and one consenting voice, O praise his name, without whose purer light Applaud the man who does unrivall’d sit,
Thou hadst been hid in an abyss of night. “The sovereign judge and arbiter of wit !"
Ye moon and planets, who dispense, For, led by thee, an endless train shall rise
By God's command, your influence; Of poets, who shall climb superior skies;
Resign to him, as your Creator due, Heroes and gods in worthy verse shall sing,
That veneration which men pay to you. And tune to Homer's lay the lofty string.
Thy works too, sovereign bard ?! if right I see, Fairest, as well as first, of things,
From whom all joy, all beauty springs;
Praise him, ye loud harmonious spheres,
Whose sacred stamp all Nature bears,
Who did all forms from the rude chaos draw, name, Great heir and guardian of the Mantuan fame!
And whose command is th' universal law : How shall my willing gratitude pursue
Ye watery mountains of the sky,
And you so far above our eye,
Ye dragons, whose contagious breath
Peoples the dark retreats of Death, That does the birth of infant worlds rehearse,
Change your fierce hissing into joyful song, Atones for all; by that my rescued fame
And praise your Maker with your forked tongue. Shall vie in age with Nature's deathless frame;
Praise him, ye monsters of the deep, By thee the learned song shall nobly live,
That in the sea's vast bosoms sleep; And praise from every British tongue receive.
At whose command the foaming billows roar, “Give to thy daring genius then the rein,
Yet know their limits, tremble and adore.
And you who through the concave blow,
Whirlwinds and tempests, praise th’ Almighty Lord. My glory by thy skill shall brighter shine, With native charms and energy divine!
Mountains, who to your Maker's view
Seem less than mole-hills do to you, Britain with just applause the work shall read,
Remember how, when first Jehovah spoke, And crown with fadeless bays thy sacred head.
All Heaven was fire, and Sinai hid in smoke. " See Miscellany Poems, 1780, vol. iii. p. 173. Praise him sweet offspring of the ground, Virgil. H. N.
With heavenly nectar yearly crown'd; 3 Cape dona extrema tuorum: the motto to lord And ye tall cedars, celebrate his praise, Roscommon's essay. H. N.
That in his temple sacred altars raise.
OF A COLD.
Idle musicians of the spring,
ON A YOUNG LADY WHO SUNG FINELY, AND WAS AFRAID
Praise him each savage furious beast,
WINTER, thy cruelty extend,
In vain let sinking pilots pray; Majestic monarchs, mortal gods,
Beneath thy yoke let Nature bend, Whose power hath here no perioris,
Let piercing frost, and lasting snow,
Through woods and fields destruction sow!
While you these lesser ills create,
These we can bear; but, gentle Fate, And from the Danube's frosty banks, to those
And thon, blest Genius of our isle, Where from an unknown head great Nilus flows. From Winter's rage defend her voice,
At which the listening gods rejoice.
Praise him from whom your power derives; May that celestial sound each day
Whilst all our passions it controls,
And kindly drives our cares away ; O praise him in your youthful prime;
Let no ungentle cold destroy Praise him, fair idols of our greedy sense;
All taste we have of heavenly joy ! Exalt his name, sweet age of innocence.
Jehovah's name shall only last,
When Heaven, and Earth, and all is past : Nothing, great God, is to be found in thee,
VIRGIL'S SIXTH ECLOGUE, But unconceivable eternity.
The God of gods, the God of grace;
ing been often promised a song by Silenus, chance
bind bim hand and foot, and then claim his pro-
mise. Silenus, finding they would be put off no SPOKEN TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OP YORK,
longer, begins his song, in which he describes the
animals, according to the Epicurean philosophy; Folly and vice are easy to describe,
and then runs through the most surprising transThe common subjects of our scribbling tribe; formations which have happened in Nature since But when true virtues, with unclouded light,
her birth. This eclogue was designed as a coinAll great, all royal, shine divinely bright,
pliment to Syro the Epicurean, who instructed Our eyes are dazzled, and our voice is weak; Virgil and Varus in the principles of that philoLet England, Flanders, let all Europe speak,
sophy. Silenus acts as tutor, Chromis and
When my Thalia rais’d her bolder voice,
And kings and battles were her lofty choice, Great Britain's genius, flew to her defence; Phæbus did kindly humbler thoughts infuse, His name struck fear, his conduct won the day, And with this whisper check th' aspiring Muse: He came, he saw, he seiz'd the struggling prey, A shepherd, Tityrus, his flocks should feed, And, while the heavens were fire and th'ocean blood, and choose a subject suited to his reed." Confirm'd our empire o'er the conquer'd flood. Thus I (while each ambitions pen prepares
O happy islands, if you knew your bliss ! To write thy praise, Varus, and thy wars) Strong by the sea's protection, safe by his ! My pastoral tribute in low numbers pay, Express your gratitude the only way,
And though I once presum'd, I only now obey. And humbly own a debt too vast to pay:
But yet (if any with indulgent eyes
Can look on this, and such a trifle prize)
Phæbus delights in Varus' favourite name,
And none who under that protection came But from the uncorrupted blood of kings.
Was ever ill receiv'd, or unsecure of fame.
Proceed my Moise.
He taught which Muse did by Apollo's will Young Chromis and Vnasylus chanc'd to stray Guide wandering Gallus to th’ Aonian hill: Where (sleeping in a cave) Silenus lay,
(Which place the god for solemn meetings chose) Whose constant cups fly fuming to his brain, With deep respect the learned senate rose, And always boil in each extended vein;
And Linus thus (deputed by the rest) His trusty flaggon, full of potent juice,
The hero's welcome, and their thanks, expressid : Was hanging by, worn thin with age and use; “ This harp of old to Hesiod did belong, Dropp'd from his head, a wreath lay on the ground; To this, the Muses' gift, join thy harmonious song: In haste they seiz'd him, and in haste they bound; Charm'd by these strings, trees starting from the Fager, for both had been deluded long
ground, With fruitless hope of his instructive song: Have follow'd with delight the powerful sound. But while with conscious fear they doubiful stood, Thus consecrated, thy Grynran grove Ægle, the fairest Nais of the flood,
Shall have no equal in Apollo's love." With a vermilion dve his temples stain'd.
Why should I speak of the Megarian maid, Waking, he smil'd, “ And must I then be chain'd? For lore perfidious, and by love betray'd ? Loose me," he cry'd ; “ 'twas boldly done, to find And her, who round with barking monsters arm'd, And view a god, but 'tis too bold tv bind.
The wandering Greeks (ah, frighted men!) alarmid; The promis'd verse no longer I'll delay,
Whose only hope on shatter'd ships depends, (She shall be satisfy'd another way).”
While fierce sea-dogs devour the mangled friends. With that he rais'd his tuneful voice aloud,
Or tell the Thracian tyrant's alter'd shape, The knotty oaks their listening branches bow'd, And dire revenge of Philomela's rape, And savage beasts and silvan gods did crowd; Who to those woods directs her mournful course, For lo! he sung the world's stupendous birth, Where she had suffer'd by incestuous force, Hos scatter'd seeds of sea, and air, and earth, While, loth to leave the palace too well known, And purer fire, through universal night
Progné flies, hovering round, and thinks it still her And empty space, did fruitfully unite;
Whatever near Eurota's happy stream
(own? From whence th' innumerable race of things, With laurels crown'd, had been Apollo's theme, By circular successive order springs.
Silenus sings; the neighbouring rocks reply, By what degrees this Earth's compacted sphere And send his mystic numbers through the sky; Was harden'd, woods and rocks and towns to bear; Till Night began to spread her gloomy veil, How sinking waters (the firm land to drain) And call'd the counted sheep from every dale; Filld the capacious deep, and form’d the main, The weaker light unwillingly declin'd,
[sign'd. While from above, adorn'd with radiant light, And to prevailing shades the murmuring world reA new-born Sun surpris'd the dazzled sight; How vapours turu'd to clouds obscure the sky, And clouds dissolv'd the thirsty ground supply; How the first forest rais'd its shady head,
ODE UPON SOLITUDE. Till when, few wandering beasts on unknown mountains fed.
Hail, sacred Solitude ! from this calm bay, Then Pyrrha's stony race rose from the ground,
I view the world's tempestuous sea, Old Saturn reign'd with golden plenty crown'd,
And with wise pride despise And bold Prometheus (whose untam’d desire
All those senseless vanities : Rival'd the Sun with his own heavenly fire)
With pity mov'd for others, cast away Now doom'd the Scythian vulture's endless prey,
On rocks of hopes and fears, I see them toss'd Severely pays for animating clay.
On rocks of folly and of vice, I see them lost : He nam’d the nymph (for who but gods could tell?) Some, the prevailing malice of the great, Into whose arms the lovely Hylas fell;
Unhappy men, or adverse Fate, Alcides wept in vain for Hylas lost,
Sunk deep into the gulís of an afflicted state. Hylas in vain resounds through all the coast.
But more, far more, a numberless prodigious train, He with compassion told Pasiphaë's fault,
Whilst Virtue courts them, but, alas ! in vain, Ah! wretched queen! whence came that guilty Fly from her kind embracing arms, thought?
Deaf to her fondest call, blind to her greatest charms, The maids of Argos, who with frantic cries
And, sunk in pleasures and in brutish ease, And imitated lowings fill the skies,
They in their shipwreck'd state themselves obdu(Though metamorphos'd in their wild conceit)
It is by thee I truly live,
Presuming Love does ne'er invade My happier rivals have entic'd him home.”
This private solitary shade: He sung how Atalanta was betray'd
And, with fantastic wounds by beauty made, By those Hesperian baits her lover laid,
The joy has no allay of jealousy, hope, and fear, And the sad sisters who to trees were turn'd, The solid comforts of this happy sphere : While with the world th’ambitious brother burn'd. Yet I exalted Love admire, All he describ'd was present to their eyes,
Friendship, abhorring sordid gain, And, as he rais'd his verse, the poplars seem'd to rise. And purify'd from Lust's dishonest stain:
Nor is it for my solitude unfit,
While, rul'd by a resistless fire, For I am with my friend alone,
Our great Orinda'I admire, As if we were but one ;
The hungry wolves, that see me stray, 'Tis the polluted love that multiplies,
Unarm'd and single, run away. But friendship does two souls in one comprise.
Set me in the remotest place Here in a full and constant tide doth flow
That ever Neptune did embrace ; All blessings man can hope to know;
When there her image fills my breast,
Helicon is not half so blest.
And when the thirsty monsters meet,
They 'll all pay homage to my feet.
The magic of Orinda's name, Till with a gentle force victorious Death
Not only can their fierceness tame, My solitude invade,
But, if that mighty word I once rehearse, And, stopping for a while my breath,
They seem submissively to roar in verse. With ease convey me to a better shade.
Virtue, dear friend, needs no defence,
Integrity undaunted goes
For as (by amorous thoughts betray'd)
No beast of more portentous size
Set me in the remotest place
Set me where on some pathless plain
The burning zone, the frozen isles,
A, happy grove ! dark and secure retreat
THE SAME IMITATED.
VIRTUE (dear friend) needs no defence,
" Mrs. Catharine Philips.