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"Tis here as 'tis at fea; who farthest

goes, Or dares the most, makes all the reft his foes. Yet when some virtue much outgrows the

reft, It shoots too fast, and high, to be exprest; As his heroic worth struck envy dumb, Who took the Dutchman, and who cut the

boom. Such praise is your’s, while you the paflions

move, That 'tis no longer feign’d, 'tis real love, Where nature triumphis over wretched art; We only warm the head, but you the heart. Always you warm ; and if the rising year, As in hot regions, brings the sun too near, 'Tis but to make your fragrant spices blow, Which in our cooler climates will not grow. 40 They only think you

theme With too much fire, whio are themselves all

phlegm. Prizes would be for lags of Nowest pace, Were cripples made the judges of the race. Despise those drones, who praise, while they

accuse The too much vigour of your youthful mufe. That humble style which they your virtue

make, Is in your power; you need but stoop and

take.

animate your

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Your beauteous images must be allow'd
By all, but some vile poets of the crowd.
But how should any fign-post dawber know
The worth of Titian or of Angelo ?
Hard features every bungler can command;
To draw true beauty shews a master's hand.

EPISTLE THE FIFTH.

TO THE

EARL OF ROSCOMMON,

ON HIS

EXCELLENT ESSAY

ON

TRANSLATED VERSE.

Wuetiler the fruitful Nile, or Tyrian shore,
The feeds of arts and infant science bore,
"Tis sure the noble plant, translated first,
Advanc'd its head in Grecian gardens nurst.
The Grecians added verse : their tuneful

tongue Made nature first, and nature's God their song. Nor stopt translation here: for conqu’ring

Rome, With Grecian spoils, brought Grecian numbers

home;

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Enrich'd by those Athenian muses more,
Than all the vanquish'd world could yield be-

fore. "Till barbarous nations, and more barbarous

10

times,

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Debas’d the majesty of verse to rhines ;
Those rude at first : a kind of hobbling prose,
That limp'd along, and tinkled in the close.
But Italy, reviving from the trance
Of Vandal, Goth, and Monkish ignorance,
With pauses, cadence, and well-vowell'd words,
And all the graces a good ear affords,
Made rhyme an art, and Dante's polish'd page
Restor'd a silver, not a golden age.

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Ver. 12. Debas’d the majesty of verse to rhimes;] The advocates for rhyme feein not to advert to what Servius says, that rhyme was uted in the time of the Saturnalia by the Roman populace in their rude fongs, and by the foldiers in their acclamalions, and at their fealts in honour of their victorious generals. We may apply to rhyme what Seneca lays of the subtleties of logic, “ Comininuitur et debilitatur generosa indoles in iltas augustias conjecta,"

Join WARTOX. Ver, 14.

and tinkled in the close.] Dryden adopts the contemptuous description of rhyme from preceding authors, and those of no mean note. Thus in Ben Jonfon's Mark of The Fortunate Ipes, Skogan, the jefter, is represented as a writer “ in rime, finc tinckling rime !" And Andrew Marvell, in his fpirited verses to Nilton on his Paradise Lott, thus cxclaims :

Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure
" With tinkling rhime, of thy own fense secure.”

TODD Ver, 19.

Dante's polish'd page] There is a very ancient Italian poem, entitled, Alpramonte, containing an account of the war of King Guarnicri and Agolaute against Rome and Charlemagne ; which, from the circumstance of the style being a mixture of the Tuscan with other Italian dialects, appears to be prior to Dante. There was an edition of it at Venice, 1615. It is become extremely rare, and is a great curiofity. It is mentioned by Quadrio in his History of Italian Poetry.

Then Petrarch follow'd, and in him we see,

? What rhyme improv'd in all its height can be: At best a pleasing found, and fair barbarity. The French pursu'd their steps; and Britain,

last, In manly sweetness all the rest surpass’d. The wit of Greece, the gravity of Rome, Appear exalted in the British loom : The Muses empire is restor'd again, In Charles his reign, and by Roscommon's pen. Yet modeftly he does his work survey, And calls a finish'd Poem an Effay; For all the needful rules are scatter'd here; Truth smoothly told, and pleasantly severe; So well is art disguis’d, for nature to appear.

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Dr. J. Warton. Ver. 21. Then Petrarch follow'd,] It was on the sixth of April, 1327, that Petrarch fell in love with Laura, in the twentythird year of his age. Paul Jovius reports, that it was a como mon saying in Italy, that Petrarch did not succeed in writing prose, nor Boccacio in writing verse. Few books are to entertaining as the Abbé Sade's circumstantial Life of Petrarch, which contains also a curious picture of the manners and opinions of that age. It is pleasant to observe, that Petrarch's Laura was allegorized to mean the Christian Religion by one commentator ; the Soul by another; and the Virgin Mary by a third.

Dr. J. WARTON, Ibid. Then Petrarch follou'd] No reasoning from the Italian language to the English about rhyme and blank verfe. One language (says Johnson) cannot communicate its rules to another.

JOHN WARTON.

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