[Page] AN Epistolary POEM TO N. TATE, Esquire: AND Poet Laureat to his Majesty: Occasioned by the taking of NAMUR. By Mr. PITTIS.

— aut mihi carmen
Quale meo Codro concedite, proxima Phoebi
Versibus ille facit, aut si non possumus omnes,
Hic arguto sacra pendebit fistula Pinu.
Virg. Ecl. VII.

LONDON, Printed for R. Baldwin, near the Oxford-Arms in Warwick-lane. MDXCXVI.


I Should have thought it unnecessary to have troubled the Reader with an account of a Paper of Verses, which I fear he will but too soon give his judgment of; had I not perceived my self ly­able to be censured for two faults (amongst the many other) which People are but too ready to take for granted. The first which I am like to be tax'd with, is speaking too much of my Heroe: The second, speaking too much of my Self. Both are so unpardonable and apt to give offence, that I am unwilling either amongst the Re­ligious to be taken for a Libertine, or amongst the Profane (I mean the Poets) for one that is arrogant or presumputous. Therefore when I call upon Heaven to take care of its Defender, it is not to be re­ceived in so strict a Sense, as if Heaven could not Subsist without him, but that he fights its Battles, and defends its Cause, which is no more than our very Prayers say of him. As for the last crime I am like to be arraign'd for (viz.) my imitation of Virgil's For­tunati ambo siquid mea carmina possunt; my meaning is so far from the vanity which the Criticks falsely ascribe to the Original, that it is Thus, if my poor endeavours can add any thing to the perpetuation of their Fame, the remembrance of 'em shall be Eternal. Now as I take this to be the sense of this Prince of Poets, I know no reason why I have not the priviledge of a Subject to quote him. For his meaning cannot be otherwise, if we observe what cautious modesty runs through his whole Writings, and how industriously he avoids the mentioning of himself, even when he has so many opportunities of doing it to his own advantage. Nor are we to suppose that he who in his Eclogues, says, Me quo­que vatem — dicunt Pastores, sed non ego credulus illis, should in his AEneids run into such high Raptures, and Excursions about himself, as to say, Nisus and Euryalus were happy, because such an excellent Poet as himself had the recital of their Story. As it is absurd to believe these things of our Authour; so I hope the Reader (especially the judicious) will acquit the copyst: As for [Page] the conduct of the Poem, since I can't excuse the faults it abounds with, I shall say but little about it. My intention at first was to have spoken more particularly of the brave Assailants, especi­aly those of our own Nation; but that design requiring more time than I have to lay out on Poetry, and more pains than I can be at present perswaded to take, I laid it aside. Being con­tented with the mentioning of his Grace the Duke of Ormond, whom I think my self oblig'd to name in a double respect, both as Chancellour of the University of Oxford, and as one whose ex­traordinary Quality and performances in the Siege deserv'd the next place to His Majesty and his Highness the Elector of Bavaria. Others extremely signaliz'd themselves, and I hope some Abler Pen will do them Justice: All that I have to say is — ab uno — disce omnes. As for my taking notice of Mr. C—'s Ode, I have this to say for my self, that as every Man is Master of his own Sentiments, so he may vent 'em when they are agreeable to truth and good-manners. And I can't see why Mr. C— should take it amiss, that he is not counted the best pindarick Writer, when he has so large a share of Reputation in Pastoral. A stander­by often see's things a Gamester himself does not perceive, and I may tell him his faults, when perhaps I am so fond of my self as not to discern my own. I am so far from using a Gen­tleman of his Character ungenteely, that tho I can't say of his Ode, as Mr. Norris said of Mr. Lock's Humane Understanding, (viz.) that he would not after all its faults part with it for a Vatican; yet I can't but tell the World I have an extraordi­nary value for it. I can't see why the same liberty may not be taken with a Gentleman of Will's, as those Gentlemen took with Dr. Blackmore, and that they who would have christned a cer­tain Poem Arthur of Bradly, should have their own examin'd by the Friends of Prince Arthur. If I have misinterpreted any of his Beauties, I beg his pardon, but if I have found out his faults I think I may have the liberty to show them. Dr. Sherlock says, he that writes, lies down, which (if I may be the Reve­verend Deans Expositor) is, every one that comes en passant, may make him exercise his faculty of feeling; and if a Man finds out Bays's Similies at any time, I see no reason why they should not lye under Bays's Correction. I have nothing more than to beg my Friend Mr. Tate's pardon for publishing an Epistle design'd only for his perusal, and for making use of his name no better, when I had so fair a field to have wrought in.

AN Epistolary POEM: Occasioned by the taking of NAMUR.

SINCE evr'y Pen and evr'y Tongue employ
Their forward Zeal, to speak their forward Joy:
And by their quick Productions, early show.
How much they pay, though not how much they owe;
Why is thy Sacred Pencil laid aside,
No lays made choise of, and no numbers try'd?
O Tate, if ever glorious Acts infuse
A warmth to Poets, or create a Muse:
If Bards inspir'd of Laurell'd Heroes Dream,
And Wars in triumph ended be their Theme,
These these, thy labours, and thy numbers claim,
The task of wonder, and the toil of Fame.
Lo! C —'s Dairy-Muse forgets her charge,
Tricks up her self, and roams about at large,
And thinks in Flights and Raptures to excell
Because she tun'd the lowly reed so well!
As at some Wake, where Joan or Nell appear,
And represent the Queen in Sundays Gear,
With hobbling steps the Rabble Rout advance,
And trample round, and form a kind of Dance:
Susan amidst the rest, with awkward Mien
Capers, and shows her feet, and will be seen,
Thinks what she does, deserves the most esteem,
Because she makes good Cheese, and skim's the better Cream.
[Page 2] On Pindar's Wings she takes her aery Course,
But Pindar's judgment's wanting to his Force.
Up to the head of Fame She boldly flies,
Fama malum - virg. Aen.
Fames a mischief, or the Poet lies)
O Youth take heed, let Virgill's hallow'd Page
Escape thy fury, and avoid thy rage,
With holy dread approach the Reverend Bard,
Nor play with Wit, when Sense should be prefer'd,
A fine digression, and with Judgment wrote,
Is more esteem'd a Beauty than a fau't,
But when a Muse impatient of delay,
Leaps o're the bounds, and frollicks all the way,
Forces through oppositions self, and climbs
With all the tinckling chime of Pack-horse Rhimes;
We damn the Muse, and justly blame her skill,
Who leaves good beaten ways, and chuses ill,
And sweats and drudges upward with her load,
When She might go beneath, and keep the Road.
But above all (for he that Verse endites
Shou'd know his Sense and meaning as he writes)
Thy Verse shou'd speak Thee Loyal, not compare
The Siege of Namure to the Gyants War:
Nor make Mars tumble from the Empyreal-skie.
Those whom their
Author never brought so high:
Thy Power unseen, and boundless force restrain,
Nor make those Rebells who deserve to Reign.
Other's have wrote, and with dissembled pains,
Rack'd all their little Magazine of Brains:
Squeez'd hard for Tropes and Figures, to express
Their satisfaction in the Kings success
And like some Muster-Master's Scrow'l, have taught
The Reader all the names of those that fought:
Rang'd all their Heroes up in Rank and File,
And with Dutch bulky names provok'd his smile.
For who can hold his laughter, or refuse
A smile, when Peter B — prints Jones his News,
And hands about his limping Rhimes, and showes
What Yard's Gazett had told before in Prose.
Ah! for a while the Mausoleum leave,
And in thy stead let weeping Angels grieve,
[Page 3] They'l guard the Structure which thy numbers rais'd,
And mourn the Queen, thy Verse so sweetly prais'd.
The Queen. — Oh, let her sacred Urn rejoyce
At thy loud Song, and bless thy tuneful voice,
Which echoing round the mournful Dome, conveys
Her Subjects joys, and bears her Husband's praise,
And justly daring, and correctly bold
Form's Heroes with their kindred Gods enroll'd,
Does Cities Storm'd, and routed Aamies Sing,
And once forgets Maria in the King.
So when the Mantuan Bard with rapture fir'd,
Had sung the Boy, the Roman
Dame admir'd,
And with successful and exalted strains,
Bewail'd Marcellus in his last remains,
Spread blooming Lillies o're the Regal Herse,
And wep't the dead still living in his Verse,
With sudden and unimitable joy,
Through Lation Seas he brings the War and Troy:
Forgets his Sorrows, and disowns his Grief,
As he with wondrous Verse proclaims the wondrous Chief.
Such be thy task, and dareing thy design,
Thy Muse as graceful as thy Theme divine,
Thy Numbers beautious, and thy beauties strong,
And artful warmth enforce an artful Song.
Quick turns of thought, should eager foree reveal,
No word come slow that speaks thy grateful zeal.
O let thy Muse her timely joy declare!
The laurell'd King shou'd be the laurell'd Poets care.
And see him still the glorious Task essay!
Through groves of Pikes enlarge the doubtful way!
Now wing'd with speed to Subjects aid repair,
Himself their Guardian Angel, and himself a War.
Through flouds and steep ascents the chase pursue!
Hang on the Rear and keep the Foe in view,
Whilst Europe sheltred by the Sword he draws
Adores the Monarch and applauds the Cause.
Guard him ye sacred Powers, let Angels give
That help to him, which they from him receive.
All Heav'n is interest'd to preserve his Throne,
Defending his the Gods defend their own.
[Page 4] Vain would their Altars and their Incense rise,
No costly clouds of Smoke ascend their Skies,
Their Shrines ungifted, and their Temples show,
Unless he fed the Flames & brib'd the Gods below.
AndThou bright Orb, whose influence yet presides
O're thy late charge, and Brittish Counsels guides,
Behold thy mourning widdow'd Prince, and see
Deeds that are past belief, and worthy Thee.
How grief sits sullen on his brow, and dares
The Fate of France, and awful silence wears!
Maria's Image fills his lab'ring mind,
And vengeance broods within, and actions close design'd.
See him alone through gasping Squadrons wield
His Sword, and bear the War upon his Shield;
O're dying Gauls, and mangled Heroes ride:
The God's, and Fame, and Conquest by his side!
Maria spreads the Warriours glowing Flame,
Maria — Thousands fall beneath the Name.
So when some Lybian Hunter's Spear has slain
A Lyoness in scorch'd Numidia's Plain.
And in high Pomp the rugged Trophy bore,
Which aw'd and check'd the neighbouring flocks before,
The Partner of her Den expands his Jaws,
Looks grizly round him, and contracts his Paws,
Now summons all his Sorrows to the Prize,
Leaps bounding forth, and grinning as he Flies,
Then fastning on the bleating flocks, withholds
The Shepherds care, and mourns his Consort in the Folds.
But! oh what matchless Heroe's that, who's arms
Reflect such dreadful Rays, and horrid Charms?
Feirce manly beauty through the Warriour reigns,
And Austria's Worth's collected in his Veins.
View him distinctly Muse, and boldly trace
Those features, whence their beams such awful grace.
Near the Nassovian's side, with artful force
He reins his Steed, and eggs him to the Course.
Which Champs and Foams, and joys amidst the slain,
And bears aloof the tow'ring hopes of Spain.
Virg. AE [...]. the XI.
If Europe 'mongst her numerous Sons had bore
But two such Heroes, and such Warriours more,
The Spaniards, and Batavian Troops had come
To Gallick Towns, and brought the War from home,
[Page 5] And France invested by their Arms, had mourn'd
Her Fate revers'd, and wept her Fortune turn'd.
And if thy Sons, O Phoebus, can declare
Unerring Truths, and thy dread Message bear:
If at thy Shrines by Thee posess'd, they date
The rize of Empires or the change of State.
Ev'n these, shall yet compel her to restore
The thefts she ravish'd, and she snatch'd before:
And Lewis with submissive hands resign
The Spoils of conquer'd Kingdoms, and decline.
And happy both, and if my Verse can raise
Their Fame, immortal as they'l make my lays,
Virg. Aen. IX.
No day shall blot their dear remembrance from
The list of Time, and Ages yet to come:
Whilst the Nassovian House it self supplies
Europe with Heroes, and with Gods the Skies:
Whilst Austrian Princes as their right obtain
The Western Empire, and the Crown of Spain.
From Pindus top, ye sacred Nine repair,
Let ev'ry Muse her costly Spices bear.
Scarce all their Incense and their Sweets suffice,
When on their balmy wings an Ormonds Fame must rise.
With Kings he Conquers, and with Kings shall share
A Part of Honour, as he parts the War.
O Isis, Isis! raise thy drooping head
At his dear name, and quit thy Ouzy bed:
Thy Patron Conquers, and thy Lord's return'd,
For whom thy Streams withdrew, for whom thy Waters mourn'd.
And ye learn'd Bards, whom sacred Isis owns
For her lov'd charge, and justly calls her Sons,
With speed your Incense, and your gifts prepare,
And pay your praises where ye paid your pray'r.
Much have ye promis'd, and have much to pay,
For the dear blessings of this genial day:
In which kind Heav'n its sacred pledge resigns,
And gives him back, who finish'd its designs.
O Sons of Art, let ev'ry language show,
What ev'ry land does speak, and ev'ry Nation owe,
Not barely
Mr. Addi­son and Mr. Tal­den.
Two amidst the numerous Throng
Adventure forth, and dare a Noble Song.
[Page 6] Yon' Town, behold it, what Stupendous hight
Demands your wonder, and provokes your sight!
Beneath, rough mounds and craggy Cliffs surprize,
Above, strong Forts, and spacious Bulwarks rise,
Nature her self has fix'd th' Eternal Base:
Art and Vauban defend its upper space.
Out from its flinty Breast, and rocky side
A Thousand Engines gape, where thousand Deaths reside,
And in whose womb the close destructions glow,
And lie unseen though pointed on the Foe:
From Brazen mouths, they pour their wondrous Hail,
Sweep Squadrons off, and graze upon the Vale.
But these, nor thousands more, nor Art, nor Fate,
Change Ormond's high Resolves, or Force him to retreat.
What wondrous Deeds his Youthful Hands perform!
See him through Fate, through Art and Nature Storm!
Now raise himself, supported by his Spear!
And up the Steep Ascent the Brittish Lyons bear!
Then forward with redoubled fury press,
Make Strength and Danger yield to his success;
And through the flames the burning Ramparts reach,
And fix Himself, and Standard in the Breach!
Sing Jo Triumph, lo the Lillies fail!
Sing Jo Triumph Ormond's Arms prevail!
But these (my Friend) are wondrous Acts, and claim
A nobler Muse, and more distinguish'd flame:
The task is Worthy, and the Verse should shine
With tempting lusture, and with Grace like thine.
A Dorsetts Judgment, and a Drydens Rage
Inform, and Eternize the sacred Page,
Strong nervous Sense in ev'ry line appear,
And Beauty glad the Sight, and Fancy charm the Ear:
Till what is justly and succinctly wrote,
Approves the Heroe, and the Poets Thought.
Oh! if my languid numbers might provoke
Some lasting piece, and court some finish'd stroke;
Or make Thee write what I confus'dly feel,
And try the task my Muse performs so ill!
Thrice happy I, though with the scribling rest,
Expos'd to every drivling Coxcomb's jest:
[Page 7] Martyr'd on Pies, when ev'ry Fopling fills
His senseless gut, and only reads at meals;
O Tate, with speed begin th' advent'rous Song,
To Thee alone the sacred rites belong.
Whilst I again to Chymick flames retire,
And quitt feign'd warmth, for true substantial fire:
Seek Herbs and Plants, and ev'ry healing juice,
And learn their mixture as I learn their use.
Tyson thy aid, direct my dareing course,
For Nature stoops to thy resistless force,
Unveils her beauties, and reveals her grace
To thy discerning Eys which ev'ry secret trace
O guide me, through the bold pursuit; impart
Thy healing vertues, and thy wondrous Art,
As I through Worlds unknown thy gifts explore,
Resolv'd to triffle with a Muse no more.

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