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Did not the god my wand'ring pen restrain,
And bring me to his Oxford back again.

Oxford! the goddess Muse's native home, 420
Inspir'd like Athens and adorn'd like Rome,
Hadst thou of old been Learning's fam’d retreat,
And Pagan Muses chose thy lovely seat,
O how unbounded had their fiction been !
What fancy'd visions had adorn'd the scene! 425
Upon each hill a sylvan Pan had stood,
And ev'ry thicket boasted of a god,
Satyrs had frisk'd in each poetick grove,
And not a stream without its Nymphs could move;
Each summit had the train of Muses show'd,

430
And Hippocrene in ev'ry fountain flow'd:
The tales adorn'd with each poetick grace
Had look'd almost as charming as the place.

Ev'n now we hear the world with transports own
Those fictions by more wondroustruths outdone. 435
Here pure Eusebia keeps her holy seat,
And Themis smiles from heav'n on this retreat;
Cur chafter Graces own refin'd desires,
And all our Muses burn with Veftal fires;
Whilst guardian angels our Apollos stand, 440
Scatt'riny rich favours with a bounteous hand
'To bless the happy air and fan&ify the land.

Opleasing Shades! O ever green Retreats!
Ye learned Grottocs and ye sacred Seats!

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Never may you politer arts refuse,

445 But entertain in peace the bashful Muse! So may you

be kind Heav'n's distinguish'd care, And may your fame be lasting as it is fair! Let greater bards on fam'd Parnafsus dream, Or taite th’inspiring Heliconian stream, 450 Yet whilft our Oxford is the blefs'd abode Of ev'ry Muse and ev'ry tuneful god. Parnassus owns its honours far outdone, And Ifis boasts more bards than Helicon.

A thousand blessings I to Oxford owe, 453 But you my Lord th’inspiring Muse bestow: Grac'd with your name th' unpolish'd poem shines; You guard its faults and consecrate the lines : O! might you here meet my desiring eyes My drooping song to nobler heights wou'd rise; 460 Or might I come to breathe your northern air Yet should I find an equal pleasure there; Your presence would the harsher climate footh, Hush ev'ry wind and ev'ry mountain smooth, Would bid the groves in springing pomp arise, 495.And open charming vistas to the eyes, Would make my trifling verse be heard around, And sportive Echo play the empty found: With you I should a better Phobus find, And ownin you alone the charms ofOxfordjoin'd. 470

PROLOGUE

TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, 1713. What kings henceforth Íhall teign, what states be Is fix'd at length by Anna's juft decree; [free, Whofe brows the Muse's facred wreath shall fit Is left to you the arbiters of wit. With beating hearts the rival poets wait Till you Athenians fhall decide their fate, Secure when to these learned seats they come Of equal judgment and impartial doom.

Poor is the player's fame, whose whole renown Is but the praise of a capricious towni,

IO While with mock majesty and fancy'd pow'r Ho ftrucs in robes, the monarch of an hour! Oft' wide of nature must he act a part, Make love in tropes, in hombast break his heart, Io turn and fimile resigh his breath,

13 And rhyme and quibble in the pangs of death. Wa bluth when plays like these receive applause, And laugh in secret at the tears we cause, With honest scorn our own fuccess dildain, A worthless honour arid inglorious gain.

20 No trifling scenes at Oxford shall appear; Well what we blufi to act may you io hear. To you our fám'd our standard plays we bring, The work of poets whom you taught to sing:

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Tho'crown’d with fame they dare not think it due,
Nor take the laurel till bestow'd by you.

26
Great Cato's self, the glory of the stage!
Who charms, corre&ts, exalts, and fires, the age,
Begs here he may be try'd by Roman laws;
To you, O Fathers! he submits his cause:
He rests not in the people's gen'ral voice
Till you the senate have confirm’d his choice.

Fine is the secret, delicate the art,
To wind the pasions and command the heart!
For fancy'd ills to force our tears to flow, 35
And make the gen'rous soul in love with wo,
To raise the shades of heroes to our view,
Rebuild fall’n empires and old time renew,
How hard the talk! how rare the godlike rage!
None should presume to dictate for the stage
But such as boast a great extensive mind,
Enrich'd by Nature and by Art refin’d,
Who from the ancient stores their knowledge bring,
And tasted early of the Muse's spring.
May none pretend upon her throne to sit 45
But such as sprung from you are born to wit:
Chosen by the mob their lawless claim we flight ;
Your's is tlıc old hereditary right.

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40

48

COLIN AND LUCY,

A BALLAD.

Or Leinster, fam'd for maidens fair,
Bright Lucy was the grace,
Nor e'er did Liffy's limpid Atream
Reflect so sweet a face;

Till luckless love and pining care
Impair'd her rosy hue,
Her coral lips and damask clieeks,
And eyes of glossy blue.

8

Oh! have you seen a lily pale
When bcating rains descend?
So droop'd the flow-consuming maid,
Her life now near its end.

12

By Lucy warn'd, of fiatt'ring swains
Take heed, ye easy Fair!
Of vengeance due to broken Vows,
Ye perjur'd Swains! beware.

16

Three times all in the dead of night
A bell was heard to ring,
And fhrieking at her window thrice
The raven flapp'd his wing.

20

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