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Or is it Fortune's work, that in your head
With Monk you end, whose name preserv'd shall be The curions net, that is for fancies spread,
As Romne recorded Rufus' memory, Lets through its meshes every meaner thought, Who thought it greater honour to obey While rich ideas there are only caught ?
His country's interest, than the world to sway. Sure that's not all; this is a piece too fair
But to write worthy things of worthy men,
Yet let me take your mantle up, and I
Will venture in your right to prophesy. Nor dare I such a doctrine here admit,
“ This work, by merit first of fame secure, As would destroy the providence of wit.
Is likewise happy in its geniture:
MY HONOURED FRIEND DR. CHARLETON, At once a beauty, and a fortune too.
ON HIS LEARNED AND USEFUL WORKS; BUT MORE PARTIOf moral knowledge poesy was queen,
CULARLY HIS TREATISE OP sroNEHENGE, BY HIM RZAnd still she might, had wanton wits not been; STORED TO THE TRUE FOUNDER. Who, like ill guardians, liv'd themselves at large, And, not content with that, debauch'd their charge. The longest tyranny that ever sway'd, Like some brave captain, your successful pen Was that wherein our ancestors betray'd Restores the exil'd to her crown again :
Their free-born reason to the Stagirite, And gives us hope, that, having seen the days And made his torch their universal light. When nothing flourish'd but fanatic bays,
So truth, while only one supply'd the state, All will at length in this opinion rest,
Grew scarce, and dear, and yet sophisticate. “ A sober prince's government is best.”
Still it was bought, like emp’ric wares, or charms, This is not all; your art the way has found Hard words seal'd up with Aristotle's arms. To make th' improvement of the richest ground, Columbus was the first that shook his throne; That soil which those immortal laurels bore, And found a temperate in a torrid zone : That once the sacred Maro's temples wore. The feverish air fann'd by a cooling breeze, Eliza's griefs are so express'd by you,
The fruitful vales set round with shady trees; They are too eloquent to have been true.
And guiltless men, who danc'd away their time, Had she so spoke, Æneas had obey'd
Fresh as their groves, and happy as their clime. What Dido, rather than what Jove had said. Had we still paid that homage to a name, If funeral rites can give a ghost repose,
Which only God and Nature justly claim; Your Muse so justly has discharged those, The western seas had been our utmost bound, Eliza's shade may now its wandering ceasc, Where poets still might dream the Sun was drown'd: And claim a title to the fields of peace.
And all the stars that shine in southern skies, But if Æneas be obligd, no less
Had been admir'd by none but savage eyes. Your kindness great Achilles doth confess;
Among th' asserters of free reason's claim, Who, dress'd by Statius in too bold a look,
Our nation's not the least in worth or fame. Did ill become those virgin robes he took.
The world to Bacon does not only owe To understand how much we owe to you,
Its present knowledge, but its future too. We must your numbers, with your author's, view: Gilber shall live, till loadstones cease to draw, Then we shall see his work was lamely rough, Or Britisb fleets the boundless ocean awe. Each figure stiff, as if design'd in buff:
And noble Boyle, not less in Nature seen, His colours laid so thick on every place,
Than his great brother read in states and men. As only show'd the paint, but hid the face. The circling streams, once thought but pools, of But as in perspective we beauties see,
blood Which in the glass, not in the picture, be; (Whether life's fuel, or the body's food) So here our sight obligingly mistakes
From dark oblivion Harvey's name shall save ; That wealth, which his your bounty only makes. While Ent keeps all the honour that he gave. Thus vulgar dishes are, by cooks disguis'd, Nor are you, learned friend, the least renown'd; More for their dressing, than their substance priz'd. Whose fame, not circumscrib'd with English ground, Your curious notes so search into that age, Flies like the nimble journies of the light; When all was fable but the sacred page,
And is, like that, unspent too in its fight. That, since in that dark night we needs must stray, Whatever truths have been, by art or chance, We are at least misled in pleasant way.
Redeem'd from errour, or from ignorance,
Your works unite, and still discover more.
Nor is this work the least: you well may give
A longer conquest than the Saxons boast.
Stonehenge, once thought a temple, you have found / So Beauty took on trust, and did engage
But this long-growing debt to poetry
These ruins shelter'd once his sacred head,
TO MR. LEE, ON HIS ALEXANDER.
The blast of common censure could I fear,
For 't will be thought, and with some colour too,
I pay the bribe I first receiv'd from you;
That mutual vouchers for our fame we stand, TO THE LADY CASTLEMAIN,
And play the game into each other's hand;
And as cheap pen'orths to ourselves afford,
As Bessus and the brothers of the sword.
Such libels private men may well endure, As seamen, shipwreck'd on some happy shore, When states and kings themselves are not seDiscover wealth in lands unknown before;
cure: And, what their art had labour'd long in vain, For ill men, conscious of their inward guilt, By their misfortunes happily obtain :
Think the best actions on by-ends are built. So my much-envy'd Muse, by storms long tost, And yet my silence had not 'scap'd their spite ; Is thrown upon your hospitable coast,
Then, Envy had not suffer'd me to write; And finds more favour by her ill success,
For, since I could not ignorance pretend, Than she could hope for by her happiness.
Such merit I must envy or commend. Once Cato's virtue did the gods oppose ;
So many candidates there stand for wit, While they the victor, he the vanquish'd chose : A place at court is scarce so hard to get : But you have done what Cato could not do, In vain they crowd each other at the door; To choose the vanquish'd, and restore him too. For ev'n reversions are all begg'd before: Let others still triumph, and gain their cause Desert, how known soe'er, is long delay'd; By their deserts, or by the world's applause; And then, too, fools and knaves are better pay'd. Let Merit crowns, and Justice laurels give, Yet, as some actions bear so great a name, But let me happy by your pity live.
That courts themselves are just, for fear of shame; True poets empty fame and praise despise, So has the mighty merit of your play Fame is the trumpet, but your smile the prize. Extorted praise, and forc'd itself away. You sit above, and see vain men below
'Tis here as 'tis at sea; who furthest goes, Contend for what you only can bestow :
Or dares the most, makes all the rest his foes. But those great actions others do by chance, Yet when some virtue much outgrows the rest, Are, like your beauty, your inheritance:
It shoots too fast, and high, to be exprest; So great a soul, such sweetness join'd in one, As his heroic worth struck Envy dumb, Could only spring from noble Grandison.
Who took the Dutchman, and who cut the boom. You, like the stars, not by reflection bright, Such praise is yours, while you the passions more, Are born to your own Heaven, and your own light; That 'tis no longer feign'd, 'tis real love, Like them are good, but from a nobler cause, Where Nature triumphs over wretched Art; From your own knowledge, not from Nature's laws. We only warm the head, but you the heart. Your power you never use, but for defence, Always you warm; and if the rising year, To guard your own, or others' innocence:
As in hot regions, brings the Sun too near, Your foes are such, as they, not you, have made, 'Tis but to make your fragrant spices blow, And virtue may repel, though not invade.
Which in our cooler climates will not grow. Such courage did the ancient heroes show, They only think you animate your theme Who, when they might prevent, would wait the With too much fire, who are themselves all phlegm. blow:
Prizes would be for lags of slowest pace, With such assurance as they meant to say, Were cripples made the judges of the race. We willo'ercome, but scorn the safest way. Despise those drones, who praise, while they acWhat further fear of danger can there be? Beauty, which captives all things, sets me free. The too much vigour of your youthful Muse. Posterity will judge by my success,
That bumble style which they your virtue make, I had the Grecian poet's happiness,
Is in your power; you need but stoop and take. Who, waving plots, found out a better way; Your beauteous images must be allow'd Some god descended, and preserv'd the play. By all, but some vile poets of the crowd. When first the triumphs of your sex were sung But how should any sign-post dawber know By those old poets, Beauty was but young, The worth of Titian or of Angelo? And few admir'd the native red and white,
Hard features every bungler can command; Till poets dress'd them up to charm the sight; To draw true beauty, shows a master's hand.
ON HIS EXCELLENT ESSAY ON TRANSLATED VERSE.
When these translate, and teach translators too, EPISTLE V.
Nor firstling kid, nor any vulgar vow,
Should at Apollo's grateful altar stand:
Roscommon writes; to that auspicious hand,
True to his prince, and faithful to his friend; WHETHER the fruitful Nile, or Tyrian shore, Roscommon, first in fields of honour known, The seeds of arts and infant science bore,
First in the peaceful triumphs of the gown; 'Tis sure the noble plant, translated first,
Who both Minervas justly makes his own. Advanc'd its head in Grecian gardens nurst. Now let the few belov'd by Jove, and they The Grecians added verse: their tuneful tongue Whom infus'a Titan form’d of better clay, Made Nature first, and Nature's God, their song. On equal terms with ancient wit engage, Nor stopt translation here: for conquering Rome, Nor mighty Homer fear, nor sacred Virgil's page: With Grecian spoils, brought Grecian numbers Our English palace opens wide in state; home;
And without stooping they may pass the gate.
TO THE DUTCHESS OF YORK,
ON HER RETURN FROM SCOTLAND IN THE YEAR 1682. Of Vandal, Goth, and Monkish ignorance, With pauses, cadence, and well-vowel'd words, When factious Rage to cruel exile drove And all the graces a good ear affords,
The queen of beauty, and the court of love, Made rhyme an art, and Dante's polish'd page The Muses droop'd, with their forsaken arts, Restor'd a silver, not a golden age.
And the sad Cupids broke their useless darts: Then Petrarch follow'd, and in him we see, Our fruitful plains to wilds and deserts turn'd, What rhyme improv'd in all its height can be: Like Eden's face, when banish'd man it mourn'd. At best a pleasing sound, and fair barbarity. Love was no more, when loyalty was gone, The French pursued their steps; and Britain, last, The great supporter of his awful throne. In manly sweetness all the rest surpass’d.
Love could no longer after Beauty stay, The wit of Greece, the gravity of Rome,
But wander'd northward to the verge of day, Appear exalted in the British loom :
As if the Sun and he had lost their way. The Muses empire is restor'd again,
But now th' illustrious nymph, return'd again, In Charles's reign, and by Roscommon's pen. Brings every grace triumphant in her train. Yet modestly he does his work survey,
The wondering Nereids, though they rais'd no storm, And calls a finish'd poem an Essay;
Foreflow'd her passage, to behold her form : For all the needful rules are scatter'd here; Some cry'd, a Venus ; some, a Thetis past ; Truth smoothly told, and pleasantly severe; But this was not so fair, nor that so chaste. So well is Art disguis'd, for Nature to appear. Far from her sight flew Faction, Strife, and Pride; Nor need those rules to give translation light: And Envy did but look on her, and dy'd. His own example is a flame so bright;
Whate'er we suffer'd from our sullen fate, That he who but arrives to copy well,
Her sight is purchas'd at an easy rate. Unguided will advance, unknowing will excel. Three gloomy years against this day were set; Scarce his own Horace could such rules ordain, But this one mighty sum has clear'd the debt: Or his own Virgil sing a nobler strain.
Like Joseph's dream, but with a better doom, How much in him may rising Ireland boast, The famine past, the plenty still to come. How much in gaining him has Britain lost ! For her the weeping Heavens become serene; Their island in revenge has ours reclaim'd; For her the ground is clad in cheerful green: The more instructed we, the more we still are sham'd. For her the nightingales are taught to sing, Tis well for us his generous blood did flow
And Nature has for her delay'd the spring. Deriv'd from British channels long ago;
The Muse resumes her long-forgotten lays, That here his conquering ancestors were nurst;
And Love restor’d his ancient realm surveys, And Ireland but translated England first :
Recals our beauties, and revives our plays; By this reprisal we regain our right,
His waste dominions peoples once again,
But awful charms on her fair forehead sit,
Pleasing, yet cold, like Cynthia's silver beam, How will invention and translation thrive,
The people's wonder, and the poet's theme. When authors 'nobly born will bear their part, Distemper'd Zeal, Sedition, canker'd Hate, And not disdain th' inglorious praise of Art ! No more shall vex the church, and tear the state: Great generals thus, descending from command, No more shall Faction civil discords move, With their own toil provoke the soldiers' hand. Or only discords of too tender love: How will sweet Ovid's ghost be pleas'd to hear Discord, like that of music's various parts ; His fame augmented by an English peer;
Discord, that makes the harmony of hearts; How he embellishes his Helen's loves,
Discord, that only this dispute shall bring, Outdoes his softness, and his sense improves ! Who best shall love the duke, and serve the king.
You would be pleas'd in humble way
To write a trifle call'd a play.
This truly is a degradation,
Next to your wise negotiation.
If you pretend, as well you may, As map informs, of fifty-three,
Your high degree, your friends will say, And do not much for cold atone,
The duke St. Aignon made a play. By bringing thither bfty-one.
If Gallic wit convince you scarce, Methinks all climes should be alike,
His grace of Bucks has made a farce, From tropic ev'n to pole artique ;
And you, whose comic wit is terse all, Since you have such a constitution
Can hardly fall below Rehearsal. As no where suffers diminution.'
Then finish what you have began; You can be old in grave debate,
But scribble faster if you can : And young in love-affairs of state;
For yet no George, to our discerning,
Has writ without a ten years warning.
TO MR. SOUTHERNE,
ON HIS COMEDY CALLED THE WIVES' EXCUSE Where sound of Cupid never came.
Sure there 's a fate in plays, and 'tis in vain Less had you done, had you been sent
To write while these malignant planets reign. As far as Drake or Pinto went,
Some very foolish influence rules the pit, For cloves or nutmegs to the line-a,
Not always kind to sense, or just to wit: Or ev'n for oranges to China.
And whilst it lasts, let buffoonry succeed, That had indeed been charity ;
To make us laugh; for never was more need. Where love-sick ladies belpless lie,
Farce, in itself, is of a nasty scent; Chapt, and for want of liquor dry.
But the gain smells not of the excrement. But you have made your zeal appear
The Spanish nymph, a wit and beauty too, Within the circle of the Bear.
With all her charms, bore but a single show : What region of the Earth 's so dull,
But let a monster Muscovite appear, That is not of your labours full?
He draws a crowded audience round the year. Triptolemus (so sung the Nine)
May be thou hast not pleas’d the box and pit; Strew'd plenty from his cart divine.
Yet those who blame thy tale applaud thy wit: But, spite of all these fable-makers,
So Terence plotted, but so Terence writ. He never sow'd on Almain acres :
Like his thy thoughts are true, thy language clean; No, that was left by Fate's decree,
Ev'n lewdness is made moral in thy scene. To be perform’d and simg by thee.
The hearers may for want of Nokes repine;
But rest secure, the readers will be thine.
Nor was thy labour'd drama damn'd or hiss'd,
But with a kind civility dismiss'd; In waging weighty compliment,
With such good manners, as the Wife did use, With such as monarchs represent.
Who, not accepting, did but just refase. They, whom such vast fatigues attend,
There was a glance at partiwg; such a look, Want some soft minutes to unbend,
As bids thee not give o'er, for one rebuke. To show the world, that now and then
But if thou wouldst be seen, as well as read, Great ministers are mortal men.
Copy one living author, and one dead: Then Rhenish rummers walk the round;
The standard of thy style let Etherege be; In bumpers every king is crown'd;
For wit, th' immortal spring of Wycherley: Besides three holy mitred Hectors,
Learn, after both, to draw some just design,
And the next age will learn to copy thine.
TO JIENRY HIGDEN, ESQ. Was ne'er your excellency's way.
ON HIS TRANSLATION OF TUE TENTU SATIRE OF Nor need this title give offence, For here you were your excellence, For gaming, writing, speaking, keeping,
The Grecian wits, who satire first began, His excellence for all but sleeping.
Were pleasant Pasquins on the life of man: Now if you tope in form, and treat,
At mighty villains, who the state opprest, 'Tis the sour sauce to the sweet meat,
They durst not rail, perhaps; they lash'd, at least, The fine you pay for being great.
And turn'd them out of office with a jest. Nay, here 's a harder imposition,
No fool could peep abroad, but ready stand Which is indeed the court's petition,
The drolls to clap a bauble in his hand. That, setting worldly pomp aside,
Wise legislators never yet could draw Which poet has at font deny'd,
A fop within the reach of common law;
For posture, dress, grimace, and affectation, In him all beauties of this age we see,
The satire, wit, and strength, of manly Wycherley. And Satire is our court of chancery.
All this in blooming youth you have achiev'd : This way took Horace to reform an age,
Nor are your foild contemporaries griev'd. Not bad enough to need an author's rage.
So much the sweetness of your manners move, But your's, who liv'd in more degenerate times, We cannot envy you, because we love. Was forc'd to fasten deep, and worry crimes. Fabius might joy in Scipio, when he saw Yet you, my friend, have temper'd him so well, A beardless consul made against the law, You make him smile in spite of all his zeal : And join his sufferage to the votes of Rome; An art peculiar to yourself alone,
Though he with Hannibal was overcome. To join the virtues of two styles in one.
Thus old Romano bow'd to Raphael's fame, Oh! were your author's principle receiv'd, And scholar to the youth he taught became. Half of the labouring world would be reliev'd : O that your brows my laurel had sustain'd! For not to wish is not to be deceiv'd.
Well had I been depos'd, if you had reign'd: Revenge would into charity be chang'd,
The father had descended for the son ; Because it costs too dear to be reveng'd :
For only you are lineal to the throne. It costs our quiet and content of mind,
Thus, when the state one Edward did depose, And when 'tis compass'd leaves a sting behind. A greater Edward in his room arose. Suppose I had the better end o' th' staff,
But now, not I, but poetry is curs'd; Why should I help th' ill-natur'd world to laugh? For Tom the second reigns like Tom the first. 'Tis all alike to them, who get the day;
But let them not mistake my patron's part,
Yet this I prophesy; thou shalt be seen,
(Though with some short parenthesis between) But let me half that cure to you restore;
High on the throne of Wit, and, seated there, You give the salve, I laid it to the sore.
Not mine, that 's little, but thy laurel wear. Our kind relief against a rainy day,
Thy first attempt an early promise made;
That early promise this has more than paid.
That your least praise is to be regular.
But genius must be born, and never can be taught. Clients would fail, and lawyers be undone.
This is your portion; this your native store;
Maintain your post: that's all the fame you need;
For 'tis impossible you should proceed.
Already I am worn with cares and age,
And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage:
Unprofitably kept at Heaven's expense, Well then, the promis'd hour is come at last, I live a rent-charge on his providence: The present age of wit obscures the past:
But you, whom every Muse and Grace adorn, Strong were our sires, and as they fought they writ, Whom I foresee to better fortune born, Conquering with force of arms, and dint of wit: Be kind to my remains; and O defend, Theirs was the giant race, before the flood; Against your judgment, your departed friend! And thus, when Charles return'd, our empire
Let not th' insulting foe my fame pursue, stood.
But shade those laurels which descend to you: Like Janus he the stubborn soil manur'd,
And take for tribute what these lines express:
TO MR. GRANVILLE,
ON HIS EXCELLENT TRAGEDY CALLED HEROIC LOVE. Till you, the best Vitruvius, come at length; Our beauties equal, but excel our strength; Auspicious poet, were thou not my friend, Firm Doric pillars found your solid base:
How could I envy, what I must commend ! The fair Corinthian crowns the higher space: But since 'tis Nature's law in love and wit, Thus all below is strength, and all above is grace. That youth should reign, and withering age submit, In easy dialogue is Fletcher's praise;
With less regret those laurels I resign, He mov'd the mind, but had not power to raise. Which, dying on my brows, revive on thine. Great Jonson did by strength of judgment please; With better grace an ancient chief may yield Yet, doubling Fletcher's force, he wants his ease. The long-contended honours of the field, In differing talents both adorn'd their
Than venture all his fortune at a cast, One for the study, t'other for the stage.
And fight, like Hannibal, to lose at last. But both to Congreve justly shall submit,
Young princes, obstinate to win the prize, One match'd in judgment, both o'ermatch'd in wit. ( Though yearly beaten, yearly yet they rise :