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FROM AN ODE OF GRAY
Peasting our sense so many various ways,
ON ALEXANDER'S FEAST: That, by comparing others, all might see,
OR, Who inost excel, are yet excell'd by thee.
THE POWER OF MUSIC.
FROM MR. POPE'S ESSAY ON CRITICISM, l. 376.
Hrar how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprise,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!
While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove Provoke our wonder, and transcend our praise !
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love; Can neither injuries of time, or age,
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow, Damp thy poetic heat, and quench thy rage? Now sighs steal ont, and tears begin to flow. Not so thy Ovid in his exile wrote;
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And what Timotheus was is Dryden now.
CHARACTER OF DRYDEN,
Brnold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car, In smoother numbers, and a clearer style :
Wide o'er the fields of glory bear: And Juvenal, instructed in thy page,
Two coursers of ethereal race,
(pace Edges his satire, and improves his rage.
With necks in thunder cloth’d, and long-resounding Thy copy casts a fairer light on all,
Hark, his hands the lyre explore ! And still outshines the bright original.
Bright-ey'd Fancy hovering o'er, Now Ovid boasts th' advantage of thy song,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn,
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burna
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
That the Theban eagle bear, !
Sailing with supreme doininion
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
TO THE UNKNOWN AUTHOR
ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL.'
Take it as earnest of a faith renew'd,
'Tis gracious all, and great: push on your theme; His sovereign's right, by patience half betray'd, Lean your grier'd head on David's diadem. Wak'd his avenging genius to his aid. David, that rebel Israel's envy mov'd;
Blest Muse, whose wit with such a cause was crown'd, David, by God and all good men belov'd.
And blest the cause that such a champion found ! The beauties of your Absalom excel:
With chosen verse upon the foe he falls, But more the charms of charming Annabel :
And black Sedition in each quarter galls; Of Annabel, than May's first morn more bright, Yet, like a prince with subjects forc'd t'engage, Cheerful as summer's noon, and chaste as winter's Secure of conquest he rehates bis rage; Of Annabel, the Muse's dearest theme; (night. His fury not without distinction sheds, Of Annabel, the angel of my dream,
Hurls mortal bolts, but on devoted heads; Thus let a broken eloquence attend,
To less-infected members gentle found, And to your masterpiece these shadows send. Or spares, or else po!irs balm into the wound.
NAT. LEE. Such generous grace th' ingrateful tribe abuse,
And trespass on the mercy of his Muse:
Their wretched doggrel rhymers forth they bring, TO THE CONCEALED AUTHOR
To snarl and bark against the poets' king;
A crew, that scandalize the nation more,
Than all their treason-canting priests before. Hail, heaven-born Muse! hail, every sacred page! On these he scarce vouchsafes a scornful smile, The glory of our isle and of our age.
But on their powerful patrons turns his style: Th’inspiring Sun to Albion draws more nigh, A style so keen, as ev'n froin Faction draws The North at length teems with a work, to vie The vital poison, stabs to th' heart their cause. With Homer's flame and Virgil's majesty.
Take then, great bard, what tribute we can raise:
TO THE UNKNOJIN AUTIIOR
OF THE MEDAL, AND ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL..
Thus pious Ignorance, with dubious praise, And makes the Helicon in which he sails;
Altars of old to gods unknown did raise : The dialect, as well as sense invents,
They knew not the lor'd Deity; they knew And, with his poem, a new speech presents.
Divine effects a cause divine did shew; Hail then, thou matchless bard, thou great unknown, Nor can we doubt, when such these numbers are, That give your country fame, yet shun your own!
Such is their cause, though the worst Muse shall dare In vain; for every where your praise you find,
Their sacred worth in humble verse declare. And, not to meet it, you must shun mankind. As gentle Thames, charm'd with thy tuneful song, Your loyal theme each loyal reader draws,
Glides in a peaceful majesty along;
No rebel stone, no lofty bank, does brave
Sinewy, yet mild as happy lovers woo;
Yet soft as down upon the wings of Love.
How sweet does Virtue in your dress appear; Before your sacred lines their shatter'd Dagon lies. How much more charming, when much less severe! Oh! if unworthy we appear to know
Whilst you our senses harmlessly beguile, The sire, to whom this lovely birth we owe:
With all th' allurements of your happy style; Deny'd our ready homage to express,
Y'insinuate loyalty with kind deceit, And can at best but thankful be by guess;
And into sense th' unthinking many cheat. This hope remains : May David's godlike mind So the sweet Thracian with his charming lyre (For him 'twas wrote) the unknown author find;
Into rude Nature virtue did inspire;
Yet scarce so sweet, so charmingly as you.
O that you would, with some such powerful charm,
Again fair Gallia might be ours, again
Another ficet might pass the subject main,
Another Edward lead the Britons on, The threatening hydra-faction of the age;
Or such an Ossory as you did moan; Once more prepares his dreadful pen to wield, While in such numbers you, in such a strain, And every Muse attends him to the field.
Inflame their courage, and reward their pain. By Art and Nature for this task design'd,
Let false Achitophel the rout engage, Yet modestly the fight he long declin'd;
Talk easy Absalom to rebel rage; Forbore the torrent of his verse to pour,
Let frugal Shimei curse in holy zeal, Nor loos'd his satire till the needful hour.
Or modest Corab more new plots reveal;
A PINDARIC ODE.
Whilst constant to himself, secure of Fate,
But when great Jove did to the workman sit, Good David still maintains the royal state.
The thunderer such horrour did beget,
TO MR. DRYDEN,
UPON HIS TRANSLATION OF THE THIRD Though the worse rage of Zeal's fanatic fire;
BOOK OF VIRGIL'S GEORGICS.
BY MR. JOHN DENNIS.
While mounting with expanded wings Are those dear proofs of Heaven's indulgence vain, The Mantuan swan unboundled Heaven explores, Restoring David and nis gentle reign?
While with seraphic sounds he towering sings, Is it in vain thou all the goods dost know,
Till to divinity he soars: Auspicious stars on mortals shed below,
Mankind stands wondering at his flight, While all thy streams with milk, thy lands with honey
Charm'd with his music, and his height: No more, fond isle ! no more thyself engage
Which both transcend our praise. In civil fury, and intestine rage :
Nay gods incline their ravish'd ears, No rebel zeal thy duteous land molest,
And tune their own harmonious spheres, But a smooth calm soothe every peaceful breast.
To his melodious lays. Wbile in such charming notes divinely sings
Thou, Dryden, canst his notes recite
In modern numbers, which express
Their music, and their utmost might:
Canst emulate his flight.
Sometimes of humble rural things,
Thy Muse, which keeps great Maro still in sight, Those gods the pious ancients did adore,
In middle air with varied numbers sings; They learnt in verse devoutly to implore,
And sometimes her sonorous flight Thinking it rude to use the common way
To Heaven sublimely wings : Of talk, when they did to such beings pray.
But first takes time with majesty to rise, Nay, they that taught religion first, thought fit
Then, without pride, divinely great, In verse its sacred precepts to transmit:
She mounts her native skies ; So Solon too did his first statutes draw,
ånd, goddess like, retains her state And every little stanza was a law.
When down again she flies. By these few precedents we plainly see
Commands, which Judgment gives, she still obeys, The primitive design of poetry ;
Both to depress her flight, and raise. Which, by restoring to its native use,
Thus Mercury from Heaven descends, You generously have rescued from abuse.
And to this under world his journey bends, Whilst your lov'd Muse does in sweet numbers sing,
When Jove bis dread commands has given : She vindicates her God, and godlike king.
But, still descending, dignity maintains, Atheist, and rebel too, she does oppose,
As much a god upon our humble plains, (God and the king have always the same foes).
As when he, towering, re-ascends to Heaven. Legions of verse you raise in their defence, And write the factious to obedience;
But when thy goddess takes her fight, You the bold Arian to arms defy,
With so much majesty, to such a height, A conqnering champion for the Deity
As can alone suffice to prove, Against the Whigs' first parents, who did dare
That she descends from mighty Jove : To disinherit God Almighty's beir.
Gods! how thy thoughts then rise, and soar, and And what the hot-brain'd Arian first began,
Immortal spirit animates each line;
[shine! Is carried on by the Socinian,
Each with bright flame that fires our souls is crown'd, Who still associates to keep God a man.
Each has magnificence of sound, But 'tis the prince of poets' task alone
And harmony divine. T'assert the rights of God's and Charles's throne.
Thus the first orbs, in their high rounds, Whilst vulgar poets purchase vulgar fame
With shining pomp advance; By chaunting Chloris' or fair Phyllis' name;
And to their own celestial sounds Whose reputation shall last as long,
Majestically dance. As fops and ladies sing the amorous song :
On, with eternal symphony, they roll, A nobler subject wisely they refuse,
Each turn'd in its harmonious course, The mighty weight would crush their feeble Muse.
And each inform'd by the prodigious force
Of an empyreal soul.
*** See a poem by Duke, in vol. ix. of this col. Could draw a minor god with wondrous art :
Come, learned Ptolemy, and trial make,
If thou this hero's altitude canst take:
But that transcends thy skill; thrice happy all,
Could we but prove thus astronomical. *UST noble Hastings immaturely die,
Liv'd Tycho now, struck with this ray which shone The honour of his ancient family,
More bright i'th' morn, than others beam at noon, Beauty and learning thus together meet,
He'd take his astrolabe, and seek out here To bring a winding for a wedding sheet?
What new star 'twas did gild our hemisphere. Must Virtue prove Death's harbinger ? must she, Replenish'd then with such rare gifts as these, With him expiring, feel mortality?
Where was room left for such a foul disease? Is death, Sin's wages, Grace's now? shall Art The nation's sin hath drawn that veil which shrouds Make us more learned, only to depart?
Our day-spring in so sad benighting clouds, If merit be disease; if virtue death;
Heaven would no longer trust its pledge; but thus
Was there no milder way but the small-pox,
So many spots, like næves on Venus' soil,
One jewel set off with so many a foil; sprout
Each little pimple had a tear in it,
Thus made an insurrection 'gainst his life.
The cab'net of a richer soul within ? А young apostle; and with reverence may
No comet need foretel his change drew on, I speak it, inspir'd with gift of tongues, as they. Whose corps might seem a constellation. Nature gave him a child, what men in vain Oh! had he dy'd of old, how great a strife Oft strive, by art though further'd, to obtain. Had been, who from his death should draw their life? His body was an orb, his sublime soul
Who should, by one rich draught, become whate er Did move on Virtue's, and on Learning's pole: Seneca, Cato, Numa, Cæsar, were? Whose regular motions better to our view,
Learn'd, virtuous, pious, great; and have by this Than Archimedes' sphere, the Heavens did shew. An universal metempsychosis. Graces and virtues, languages and arts,
Must all these aged sires in one funeral Beauty and learning, fill'd up all the parts. Expire? all die in one so young, so small ? Heaven's gifts, which do like falling stars appear
Who, had he liv'd his life out, his great fame Scatter'd in others; all, as in their sphere,
Had swol'n 'bove any Greek or Roman name. Were fix’d, conglobate in his soul; and thence But hasty Winter, with one blast, hath brought Shone through his body, with sweet influence;
The hopes of Autumn, Summer, Spring, to nought. Letting their glories so on each limb fall,
Thus fades the oak i’ th’ sprig, i'th'blade the corn; The whole frame render'd was celestial.
Thus without young, this phenix dies, new-born. VOL VIIL
Must then old three-legg'd grey-beards with their | Fortune, that easy mistress to the young, gout,
But to her ancient servants coy and hard, Catarrhs, rheums, aches, live three long ages out? | Him at that age her favourites rank'd among, Time's otials, only fit for th' hospital !
When she her best-lov'd Pompey did discard. Or to hang antiquaries' rooms withal! Must drunkards, lechers, spent with sinning, live 'He private mark'd the faults of others' sway, With such helps as broths, posse's, physic give? And set as sea-marks for himself to shun: None live, but such as should die? shall we meet Not like rash monarchs, who their youth betray With none but ghostly fathers in the street ?
By acts their age too late would wish undone. Grief makes me rail; sorrow will force its way; And showers of tears tempestuous sighs best lay.
And yet dominion was not his design; The tongue may fail; but overflowing eyes
We owe that blessing, not to him, but Heaven, Will weep out lasting streams of elegies.
Which to fair acts unsought rewards did join ; But thou, () virgin-widow, left alone,
Rewards, that less to him than us were given.
Our former chiefs, like sticklers of the war,
First sought t'inflame the parties, then to poise: His soul, though not his body, to thy bed:
The quarrel lor'd, but did the cause abhor; Let that make thee a mother; bring thou forth
And did not strike to hurt, but make a noise. Th' ideas of his virtue, knowledge, worth; Transcribe th' original in new copies; give
War, our consumption, was their gainful trade: Hastings o' th' better part; so shall he live
We inward bled, whilst they prolong'd our pain, In 's nobler half; and the great grandsire be
He fought to end our fighting, and essay'd Of an heroic divine progeny:
To stanch the blood by breathing of the vein. An issue, which t'eternity shall last, Yet but th’ irradiations which he cast.
Swift and resistless through the land he past, Frect no mausoleums: for his best
Like that bold Greek who did the Fast subdue, Monument is bis spouse's marble breast.
And made to battles such heroic haste,
As if on wings of victory he flew.
HEROIC STANZAS ON
He fought secure of fortune as of fame:
Still by new maps the island might be shown, Of conquests, which he strew'd where'er he came
Thick as the galaxy with stars is sown.
THE DEATH OF OLIVER CROMW'ELL,
WRITTEN AFTER HIS FUNERAL.
His palms, though under weights they did not stand, And now 'tis time; for their officious haste,
Still thriv'd; no winter could his laurels fade: Who would before have borne him to the sky,
Heaven in his portrait show'd a workman's hand Like eager Romans, ere all rites were past,,
And drew it perfect, yet without a shade. Did let too soon the sacred eagle fly.
Peace was the prize of all his toil and care, Though our best notes are treason to his fame, Which war bad banish'd, and did now restore:
Join'd with the loud applause of public voice; Bologna's walls thus mounted in the air, Since Ileaven, what praise we offer to his name, To seat themselves more surely than before. Ilath render'd too authentic by its choice.
Her safety rescud Ireland to him owes; Though in his praise no arts can liberal be,
And treacherous Scotland, to no interest true, Since they, whose Muses have the highest flown, Yet blest that fate which did his arms dispose Add not to his immortal memory,
Her land to civilize, as to subdue. But do an act of friendship to their own:
Nor was be like those stars which only shine, Yet 'tis our duty, and our interest too,
When to pale mariners they storms portend: Such monuments as we can build to raise :
He had his calmer influence, and his mien
Did love and majesty together blend.
'Tis true, his count'nance did inprint an awe; To draw a fame so truly circular;
And naturally all souls to his did bow, For in a round what order can be shew'd,
As wands of divination downward draw, Where all the parts so equal perfect are?
And point to beds where sovereign gold doth grom, Ilis grandeur he deriv'd from Heaven alone; When past all offerings to Feretrian Jove,
For he was great ere Fortune made him so: He Mars depos'd, and arms to gowns made yield; And wars, like mists that rise against the Sun,
Successful councils did him soon approve Made him but greater seein, not greater grow.
As fit for close intrigues, as open field. No borrow'd bavs his temples did adorn,
To suppliant Holland he vouchsaf'd a peace, But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring; Our once bold rival of the British main, Nor was his virtue poison'd soon as born,
Now tamely glad her unjust claim to cease, With the too early thoughts of being king. And buy our friendship with her idol, gain