AN ESSAY ON Translated Verse.


Cape Dona Extrema Tuorum.

LONDON, Printed for Iacob Tonson at the Iudges Head in Chancery Lane, 1684.

To the Earl of Roscomon, on his Excellent Essay on Translated Verse.

WHether the fruitful Nile, or Tyrian Shore,
The seeds 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 conquering Rome
With Grecian Spoils brought Grecian Numbers home;
Enrich'd by those Athenian Muses more,
Than all the vanquish'd World cou'd yield before.
'Till barb'rous Nations, and more barb'rous Times
Debas'd the majesty of Verse to Rhymes;
Those rude at first: a kind of hobbling Prose:
That limp'd along, and tinckl'd 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:
Then Petrarch follow'd, and in him we see,
What Rhyme improv'd in all its height can be;
At best a pleasing Sound, and fair barbarity;
[Page] The French pursu'd their steps; and Brittain, last
In Manly sweetness all the rest surpass'd.
The Wit of Greece, the Gravity of Rome
Appear exalted in the Brittish Loome;
The Muses Empire is restor'd agen,
In Charles his Reign, and by Roscomon's Pen.
Yet modestly he does his Work survey,
And calls a finish'd Poem an ESSAY;
For all the needful Rules are scatter'd here;
Truth smoothly told, and pleasantly severe;
(So well is Art disguis'd, for Nature to appeare.)
Nor need those Rules, to give Translation light;
His own example is a flame so bright;
That he, who but arrives to copy well,
Unguided will advance; unknowing will excel.
Scarce his own Horace cou'd such Rules ordain;
Or his own Virgil sing a nobler strain.
How much in him may rising Ireland boast,
How much in gaining him has Britain lost!
Their Island in revenge has ours reclaim'd,
The more instructed we, the more we still are sham'd.
'Tis well for us his generous bloud did flow
Deriv'd from British Channels long ago;
That here his conquering Ancestors was nurst;
And Ireland but translated England first:
By this Reprisal we regain our right;
Else must the two contending Nations fight,
[Page] A nobler quarrel for his Native earth,
Than what divided Greece for Homer's birth.
To what perfection will our Tongue arrive,
How will Invention and Translation thrive▪
When Authors nobly born will bear their part,
And not disdain th'inglorious praise of Art!
Great Generals thus descending from command,
With their own toil provoke the Souldiers hand.
How will sweet Ovid's Ghost be pleas'd to hear
His Fame augmented by a Brittish Peer,
The Ea [...] of Mul [...] grave.
How he embellishes His Helen's loves,
Out does his softness, and his sense improves?
VVhen these translate, and teach Translators too,
Nor Firstling Kid, nor any vulgar vow
Shou'd at Apollo's grateful Altar stand;
Roscomon writes, to that auspicious hand,
Muse feed the Bull that spurns the yellow sand.
Roscomon, whom both Court and Camps commend,
True to his Prince, and faithful to his friend;
Roscomon first in Fields of Honour known,
First in the peaceful Triumphs of the Gown;
He both Minerva's justly makes his own.
Now let the few belov'd by Iove, and they,
VVhom infus'd Titan form'd of better Clay,
On equal terms with ancient Wit ingage,
Nor mighty Homer fear, nor sacred Virgils page:
Our English Palace opens wide in state;
And without stooping they may pass the Gate.

Ad illustrissimum Virum; Dominum Comitem de ROSCOMON; In Tentamen suum sive Specimen de Poetis transferendis.
Carmen Encomiasticon.

ANglia si claris pollet faecunda Poetis
Mundo praereptos jactans in pace triumphos;
Pallada nutrivit si non minus ubere glebâ,
Augusto quam magna tulit sub Caesare Roma;
Hoc Tibi debetur Comes illustrissime secli:
Nam postquam per te patuit, populoque refulsit
Ars Flacci, vatum surrexit vivida proles
Divinis instructa modis & carmine puro.
Iam non sola sequi vestigia sacra Maronis
Sed transferre datur: Vos O gaudete superbi
Angligenae, meritisque virum redimite corollis
Quem penes arbitrium est & jus & norma loquendi.
Nam duce Te vatum series aeterna sequetur,
Qui tentare modos ausi immortalis Homeri,
Heroasque, Deosque canent, plausuque secundo
Non male ceratis tendent super aethera pennis.
Et tua, docte Maro, (ni fallor) carmina reddent
Majestate pari; dum laeta vagaberis umbra
Per sacrum spatiata nemus: Versu (que) Britanno
[Page] Aeneadas mirata cani, bellumque, ducesque
Et Pastoris Oves, his vocibus or a resolves.
Quam bene Te poteram patulis amplectier ulnis
Magne Comes, nostrae O famae defensor & haeres!
Nunc licet insulsi vertant mea scripta Poetae,
Mollior ac Elegis Ovidî sonet Ilias, ausit
Maevius infaelix calamo disperdere Versus,
Cuncta piat Silenus, & haud imitabile carmen
Prima quod infantis cecinit cunabula mundi
Durabit, famamque per omne tuebitur aevum.
Grandibus ille modis & mirâ pingitur arte:
Per Te, Dulce decus, nostri viget ille laboris
Relliquiae, multum Britico celebrandus in ore.
Tu Genio da fraena tuo, nec voce beatam
Hâc tristere animam—cape dona extrema Tuorum.
Carmina adhuc cineri exequias persolve Maronis,
Pulchrior in tanta splendet mea gloria musâ.
Plurimus Angligenum manibus versabere, plebi
Sordebunt excusa ducum simulacra tabellis;
Te melius vivo pingentem carmine cernent.
Dum translatorum sudant ignobile vulgus,
Vt captent oculos Phaleris, & imagine falsâ
Lactent lectorem, & vanâ dulcedine pascant;
Me mihi restituis versu, sensusque latentes
Eruis, & duplicem reddit tua charta Maronem.
Carolus Dryden.

To the EARL of ROSCOMON, ON HIS Excellent POEM.

AS when by labouring Stars new Kingdoms rise
The mighty Mass in rude confusion lies,
A Court unform'd, disorder at the Bar,
And even in Peace the rugged Meen of War,
Till some wise States-man into Method draws
The parts, and Animates the frame with Laws;
Such was the case when Chaucer's early toyl
Founded the Muses Empire in our Soyl.
Spencer improv'd it with his painful hand
But lost a Noble Muse in Fairy-land.
Shakspear say'd all that Nature cou'd impart,
And Iohnson added Industry and Art.
Cowley, and Denham gain'd immortal praise;
And some who merit as they wear, the Bays.
Search'd all the Treasuries of Greece, and Rome,
And brought the precious spoils in Triumph home.
But still our language had some ancient rust,
Our flights were often high but seldom just.
There wanted one who license cou'd restrain,
Make Civil Laws o're Barbarous Vsage reign:
One worthy in Apollo's Chair to sit
To hold the Scales, and give the Stamp of Wit.
[Page] In whom ripe judgement and Young fancy meet,
And force Poetic Rage to be discreet.
Who growes not nauseous whiles he strives to please:
But marks the Shelves in the Poetic Seas.
Who knows, and teaches what our Clime can bear
And makes the barren ground obey the labourers care.
Few cou'd conceive, none the great work cou'd do,
Tis a fresh province, and reserv'd for You.
Those Talents all are yours, of which but One,
Were a Fair Fortune for a Muses Son.
Wit, reading, judgement, conversation, art,
A head well ballanc'd, and a generous heart.
While insect Rhymes cloud the polluted Skie,
Created to molest the world, and die.
Your File do's polish, what your Fancy cast,
Works are long forming which must alwayes last,
Rough iron sense, and stubborn to the Mold
Touch'd by your Chymic hand is turn'd to Gold,
A secret Grace fashions the slowing lines,
And inspiration thro the Labour shines.
Writers in spight of all their paint and Art,
Betray the darling passion of their heart.
No Fame you wound, give no chast ears offence.
Still true to Friendship, Modesty, and Sence.
So Saints from Heaven for our example sent,
Live to their Rules, have nothing to repent.
[Page] Horace, if living, by exchange of fate,
Wou'd give no Laws, but only yours translate.
Hoist Sail, bold Writers, search, discover far,
You have a Compass for a Polar-Star.
Tune Orpheus Harp, and with enchanting Rhymes
Soften the savage humour of the Times.
Tell all those untouch'd Wonders which appear'd
When Fate it self for our Great Monarch fear'd:
Securely thro the dangerous Forrest led
By guards of Angels when his own were fled.
Heaven kindly exercis'd his Youth with Cares
To crown with unmix'd joyes his riper years.
Make Warlike Iames's peaceful vertues known,
The Second Hope and Genius of the Throne.
Heaven in compassion brought him on our Stage
To tame the fury of a monstrous Age.
But what blest voice shall your Maria sing?
Or a fit offering to her Altars bring?
In joys, in grief, in triumphs, in retreat,
Great alwayes, without aiming to be Great.
True Roman Majesty adorns her Face;
And every gesture's form'd by every Grace.
Her beauties are too Heavenly, and refin'd,
For the Gross Senses of a Vulgar mind.
It is your part, (you Poets can divine)
To prophecy how she by Heavens design
Shall give an Heir to the Great Brittish Line,
[Page] Who over all the Western Isles shall reign,
Both aw the Continent, and rule the Main.
It is Your Place to wait upon her Name
Thro the vast regions of Eternal fame.
True Poets souls to Princes are ally'd,
And the Worlds Empire with its Kings divide.
Heaven trusts the present time to Monarchs care,
Eternity is the Good Writers share.
Knightly Chetwood.

To the Earl of Roscomon, on his Excellent Essay on Translated Verse.

WHile Satyr pleas'd and nothing else was writ
But pure ill nature pass'd for noblest Wit.
Some priviledg'd Climes the poysonous weeds refuse:
But when a generous understanding Muse
Does richer fruits from happier Soils Translate,
W' are sent to Ireland, by reverse of fate.
Yet you, I know with Plato would disdain
To write and equal the Maeonian strain;
[Page] If t'would debauch your humour so far forth
To think so mean a thing, enhanc'd your worth.
For were, that praise and only that your due,
Which Virgil too might claim no less then you,
Tho that had merited my bare esteem,
I'de leave to other pens the single theme.
But when I saw the Candor of your mind,
A Muse inur'd to Camps, in Courts refin'd,
A Soul e'vn capable of being a friend,
Free from those follies which the great attend;
I grant such excellence my Soul did fire,
Unable to commend, I will admire.
"Happy the man when no concern is nigh,
"But Nature's, wanton and his blood runs high,
"Who free from cares enjoys without control,
"His Muse, the darling Mistris of his soul,
"No tedious Court his appetite destroys,
"Nor thoughts of gain pollute the rapturous Joys.
"The Dear Minerva's form'd without a pain
"And nothing less, could spring from such a brain.
"And yet his Godlike pity he imparts
"To those that drudge at Duty against their hearts
"And to illiberal uses wrest the Liberal Arts—
When I observe the wonders you explain▪
Too much the antients you commend—in vain
[Page] In vain you would endeavour to perswade,
That all our Rites were in those Archives laid:
That Poetry must ever stand unmov'd,
The only Art Experience ha'nt improv'd.
But grant all this were to Religion grown,
Sure they concern no Countrys but their own:
For let the Aeneid pass through other hands,
And Virgils self a third-rate Poet stands.
Unfit to reach the heights that he has flown,
We wisely to our level bring him down.
Himself had writ less sweet, and less sublime
In any other tongue or other time.
And now, my Lord, on this account I grieve,
To think how different from your self you'l live.
When this inimitable peice is shown,
In Languages and Empires yet unknown.
It will be Learning then to know and hear
Not only what you wrote, but what you were.
I. Amherst.

Cum Opus suum Manuscriptum, una cum ele­ganti Carmine Latino sibi mitteret Illustrissimus Author, ita respondit: K. C.

AVlae dulce decus, quem culta Britannia vellet,
Scotia seque tibi vix peperisse, putat;
Quid, mihi dum nunquam peritura volumina mittis,
Me; nisi mirari, dulcis amice, velis?
Scripta tua in melius qui singere possit, Apellis
Is Venerem, Phidiae possit & ille Jovem:
Concilio ille juvet miscentem elementa Tonantem,
Rectius & soli scribere possit iter.
Res sancta est, surgens vestra ad fastigia, vates,
Cui praesens semper pectora numen babet.
Quantum est victuris victuras condere leges,
In litem lauros & revocare novam!
Extinctis vitam dare res est quanta! sed ipse
Quantus! pars minima est Musa diserta Tui.

AN ESSAY ON Translated Verse.

HAppy that Author, whose correct Essay
Repairs so well our Old Horatian way;
And happy those, who, (if concurring Stars
Praedestinate them to Poetick Wars)
With Pains, and leisure, by such Precepts write;
And learn to use their arms before they fight.
But since the Press, the Pulpit, and the Stage,
Joyn all their forces, to invade our Age.
[Page 2] Provok'd, and urg'd, we, resolutely must
To the few Virtues that we have, be just.
For who have long'd, or who have labour'd more,
To search the Treasures of the Roman store;
Or dig in Graecian Mines for purer Oar?
The noblest Fruits Transplanted, in our Isle
With early Hope, and fragrant Blossoms smile.
Familiar Ovid tender Thoughts inspires,
And Nature seconds all his soft Desires:
Theocritus do's now to Vs belong;
And Albion's Rocks repeat his Rural Song.
Who has not heard how Italy was blest,
Above the Medes, above the wealthy East?
Or Gallus Song, so tender, and so True,
As ev'n Lycoris might with pity view!
When Mourning Nymphs attend their Daphnis Herse,
Who do's not Weep, that Reads the moving Verse!
[Page 3] But hear, oh hear, in what exalted streins
Sicilian Muses through these happy Plains,
Proclaim Saturnian Times, our own Apollo Reigns.
When France had breath'd, after intestine Broils,
And Peace, and Conquest crown'd her forreign Toils,
There (cultivated by a Royal Hand)
Learning grew fast, and spread, and blest the Land;
The choicest Books, that Rome, or Greece have known,
Her excellent Translators made her own:
And Europe must acknowledge, that she gains,
Both by their good Example and their Pains.
From hence our gen'rous Emulation came,
We undertook, and we perform'd the same.
But now, We shew the world a nobler Way,
And in Translated Verse, do more than They.
Serene, and clear, Harmonious Horace flows,
With sweetness not to be exprest in Prose.
[Page 4] Degrading Prose explains his meaning ill,
And shews the Stuff, but not the Workman's skill.
I (who have serv'd him more than twenty years)
Scarce know my Master as He there appears.
Vain are our Neighbours Hopes, and Vain their Cares,
The Fault is more their Languages, then theirs.
'Tis copious, florid, pleasing to your Ear;
With softness, more perhaps, then Ours can bear.
But who did ever in French Authors see
The Comprehensive, English Energy?
The weighty Bullion of One Sterling Line,
Drawn to French Wire, would through whole Pages Shine.
I speak my Private, but Impartial sense,
With Freedom, and (I hope) without offence:
For I'le Recant, when France can shew me Wit▪
As strong as Ours, and as succinctly Writ.
[Page 5] 'Tis true, Composing is the Nobler Part,
But good Translation is no easie Art:
For tho Materials have long since been found,
Yet both your fancy, and your Hands are bound;
And by Improving what was writ Before;
Invention Labours Less, but Iudgment, more.
The Soil intended for Pierian seeds,
Must be well purg'd from rank Pedantick Weeds.
Apollo starts, and All Parnaffus shakes,
At the rude Rumbling Baralipton makes.
For None have been, with Admiration, read,
But who (beside their Learning) were Well-Bred.
The first great work, (a Task perform'd by Few)
Is, that your self may to your self be True:
No Masque, no Tricks, no Favour, no Reserve;
Dissect your Mind, examine ev'ry Nerve.
[Page 6] Whoever Vainly on his strength depends,
Begins like Virgil, but like Maevius, Ends.
That wretch (in spight of his forgotten Rhymes)
Condemn'd to Live to all succeeding Times,
With pompous Nonsense and a bellowing sound,
Sung lofty Ilium, Tumbling to the Ground.
For (if my Muse can through past Ages see)
That Noisy, Nauseous, Gaping Fool was He;
Exploded, when with universal scorn,
A Mountain Labour'd and a Mouse was Born.
Learn, learn, Crotona's brawny Wrestler cryes
Audacious Mortals, and be Timely Wise!
'Tis I that call, remember Milo's End,
Wedg'd in that Timber which He strove to Rend.
Each Poet, with a different Talent writes,
One Praises, One Instructs, Another Bites.
[Page 7] Horace did nereaspire to Epick Bays,
Nor lofty Maro stoop'd to Lyrick Lays.
Examine how your Humour is inclin'd,
And which the Ruling Passion of your Mind;
Then, seek a Poet who your way do's bend,
And chuse an Author as you chuse a Friend.
United by this Sympathetick Bond,
You grow Familiar, Intimate and Fond;
Your Thoughts, your Words, your Stiles, your Souls agree,
No Longer his Interpreter, but He.
With how much ease is a young Muse Betray'd,
How nice the Reputation of the Maid!
Your early, kind, paternal care appears,
By chast Instruction of her Tender Years.
The first Impression in her Infant Breast,
As 'tis the deepest, ought to be the Best:
[Page 8] No rigid Awe shou'd breed a servile Fear,
No wanton Sound offend her Virgin-Ear.
Secure from foolish Pride's Affected state,
And Specious Flattery's more pernicious Bait,
Habitual Innocence adorns each Thought,
And 'tis your Crime if She commit a Fau't▪
Immodest words (whatever the Pretence)
Always want Decency, and often, Sense.
What mod'rate Fop wou'd rake the Park, or Stews,
Who among Troops of faultless Nymphs may chuse?
Variety of Such is to be found;
Take then a Subject, proper to Expound:
But Moral, Great, and worth a Poet's Voice,
For Men of Sense despise a trivial Choice:
And such Applause it must expect to meet,
As wou'd some Painter, busie in a Street,
[Page 9] To Copy Bulls and Bears, and ev'ry Sign
That calls the Staring Sots to nasty Wine.
Yet 'tis not all to have a Subject, Good,
It must Delight us when 'tis understood.
He that brings fulsome Objects to my View,
(As many Old have done, and many New)
With nauseous Images my Fancy fills,
And all goes down Like Oxymel of Squills.
Instruct the lift'ning world how Maro sings
Of useful subjects, and of lofty Things.
There will such true, such bright Idea's raise,
As merit Gratitude, as well as Praise.
But foul Descriptions are Offensive still,
Either for being Like, or being Ill.
For who, without a Qualm, hath ever lookt,
On Holy Garbadge, tho by Homer Cookt?
[Page 10] Whose Rayling Heroe's, and whose wounded Gods,
Make some suspect, He Snores, as well as Nods.
But I offend—Virgil begins to Frown,
And Horace looks with Indignation down;
My blushing Muse with Conscious Fear retires,
And whom They Like, Implicitely Admires.
On sure Foundations let your Fabrick Rise,
And with inviting Majesty surprise,
Not by affected, meretricious Arts,
But strict harmonious Symetry of Parts.
Which through the Whole, insensibly must pass,
With vital Heat to Animate the Mass.
A pure, an Active, an Auspicious Flame,
And bright as Heav'n, from whence the Blessing came;
But, few, oh, few, Souls, praeordain'd by Fate,
The Race of Gods, have reach'd that envy'd Height.
[Page 11] No Rebel-Titan's sacrilegious Crime,
By heaping Hills on Hills can thither climb.
The grizly Ferry man of Hell deny'd
Aeneas entrance, till he knew his Guid;
How justly then will impious Mortals fall,
VVhose Pride would soar to Heav'n▪ without a Call?
Pride (of all others the most dangerous Fau't,)
Proceeds from Ignorance, and want of Thought,
The Men, who labour and digest things most,
Will be much apter to despond, than boast.
For if your Author be profoundly good,
'Twill cost you dear before he's understood.
How many Ages since has Virgil writ?
How few are they who understand him yet?
Approach his Altars with religious Fear,
No petty Deity inhabits there:
Heav'n shakes not more at Iove's imperial Nod,
Then Poets shou'd before their Mantuan God.
[Page 12] Hail mighty MARO! may that Sacred Name▪,
Kindle my Breast with thy caelestial Flame;
Sublime Ideas, and apt Words infuse.
The Muse instruct my Voice, and Thou inspire the Muse!
What I have instanc'd only in the best,
Is, in proportion true of All the rest▪
Take pains the genuine Meaning to explore,
There Sweat, there Strain, tug the laborious Oar:
Search ev'ry Comment, that your Care can find,
Some here, some there, may hit the Poets Mind;
Yet be not blindly guided by the Throng;
Which has been, and is often in the Wrong.
When Things appear unnatural or hard,
Consult your Author, with Himself compar'd;
VVho knows what Blessing Phoebus may bestow,
And future Ages to your labour owe?
[Page 13] Such Secrets are not easily found out,
But once Discover'd, leave no Room for Doubt▪
Truth Stamps▪ Conviction in your Ravisht Breast▪
And Peace and Ioy attend the glorious Guest▪
Yet if one shaddow of a Scruple stay▪
Sure the most beaten is the safest way.
Fear is the base Companion of a Slave,
But Prudence the Perfection of the Brave▪
Truth still is One; Truth is Divinely bright,
No cloudy Doubts obscure her Native Light.
While in your Thoughts you find the least Debate
You may Confound, but never can Translate.
Your Stile will this through all Disguises show,
For None, explain, more clearly then they Know▪
He only proves he Understands a Text,
Whose Exposition leaves it unperplex'd.
They who too formally on Names insist,
Rather Create then Dissipate the Mist.
[Page 14] And grow Unjust by being over nice,
(For Superstitious Virtue turns to Vice.)
Judicious Horace us'd a Parthian Name,
[...]th. Ode [...]d.
(Rome was no Stranger to Mon [...]ese's Fame,)
Yet since the Victor is but little known,
But Crassus more for being overthrown.
The Roman for the Parthian Name will be,
A Tedious Comment's True Epitome.
Words in One Language Elegantly us'd,
Will hardly in another be excus'd.
And some that Rome admir'd in Caesars Time,
May neither suit Our Genius nor our Clime.
The Genuine Sence, intelligibly Told,
Shews a Translator both Discreet, and Bold.
Excursions are inexpiably Bad,
For 'tis much safer to leave out, than Add.
[Page 15] Be not too fond of a Sonorous Line;
Good Sence will through a plain expression shine.
Few Painters can such Master strokes command,
As are the noblest in a skilful Hand.
In This, your Author will the best advise,
Fall when He falls, and when He Rises, Rise.
Affected Noise is the most wretched Thing,
That to Contempt can Empty Scriblers bring.
Vowels and Accents, Regularly plac'd
On even Syllables (and still the Last)
Tho all imaginable Faults abound,
Will never want the Pageantry of Sound.
Whatever Sister of the learned Nine
Do's to your Suit a willing Ear incline,
Urge your success deserve a lasting Name,
She'l Crown a Grateful and a Constant Flame.
But if a wild Uncertainty prevail,
And turn your Veering heart with ev'ry Gale,
[Page 16] You lose the Fruits of all your former care,
For the sad Prospect of a Iust Despair.
A Quack (too scandalously Mean to Name)
Had, by Man Midwifery, got Wealth, and Fame;
As if Luc [...]a had forgot her Trade,
The Lab'ring Wife invok's his surer Aid.
Well season'd Bowls the Gossyps Spirits raise,
Who, while she Guzzles, Chats the Doctor's Praise.
And largely, what she wants in Words, supplies,
With Maudlin-Eloquence of trickling Eyes.
But what a thoughtless Animal is Man,
(How very Active in his own Trepan!)
For greedy of Physicians frequent Fees,
From Female Mellow Praise He takes Degrees:
Struts in a new [...] Gown, and then,
From saving Women falls to Killing Men.
[Page 17] Another Such had left the Nation, Thin,
In spight of all the Children He brought in.
His Pills, as thick as Hand Granadoes flew,
And where they Fell, as Certainly, they Slew.
His Name struck ev'ry where as great a Damp
As Archimedes through the Roman Camp.
With This, the Doctors Pride began to Cool,
For Smarting soundly may convince a Fool.
But now Repentance came too late, for Grace;
And meager Famine star'd him in the Face.
Fain would He to the Wives be reconcil'd,
But found no Husband left to Own a Child.
The Friends, that Got the Brats, were poyson'd too;
In such Distress what could our Vermin do?
Worry'd with Debts, and past all Hope of Bail,
Th' unpitty'd Wretchlies Rotting in a Iail.
And There, with Basket-Alms, scarce kept Alive,
Shews how Mistaken Talents ought to Thrive.
[Page 18] I Pity, from my Soul, Unhappy men,
Compell'd by want to Prostitute their Pen;
Who must, like Lawyers, either Starve, or Plead,
And follow, right or wrong, where Guynys Lead;
But you, Pompilian wealthy, pamper'd Heirs,
Who to your Country owe your Swords, and Cares.
Let no vain hope your easie mind seduce,
For Rich Ill Poets are without Excuse.
'Tis very Dangerous, Tampring with a Muse,
The Profit's small, and you have much to Iose;
For, tho true Wit adorns your Birth, or Place,
Degenerate lines degrade th' attainted Race.
No Poet any Passion can Excite;
But what they feel transport them when they write.
Have you been led through the Cumaean Cave.
And heard th' Impatient Maid Divinely Rave?
[Page 19] I hear her now; I see her Rowling Eyes;
And panting; Lo! the God, the God she cries;
With words, not Hers, and more then humane sound,
She makes the obedient Ghosts peep trembling thro the ground
But tho we must obey when heaven Commands,
And man in vain the Sacred Call withstands,
Beware what Spirit rages in your breast.
For ten inspir'd ten thousand are Possest.
Thus make the proper use of each Extream,
And write with fury but correct with Phleam.
As when the Chearful hours too freely Pass,
And sparkling wine smiles in the tempting Glass,
Your Pulse advises, and Begins to beat
Through Every swelling Vein a loud retreat.
So when a Muse Propitiously invites
Improve her favours, and Indulge her flights,
But when you find that Vigorous heat abate,
Leave off, and for another summons wait.
[Page 20] Before the Radiant Sun, a Glimmering Lamp;
Adultrate Mettals to the Sterling Stamp,
Appear not meaner, than mere humane Lines,
Compar'd with those whose Inspiration shines;
These, Nerucus, bold; those Languid, and remiss;
There, cold salutes, But here, a Lovers kiss.
Thus have I seen a Rapid, headlong Tide,
With foaming Waves the Passive Soan Divide
Whose Lazy Waters without Motion lay
While he, with eager force, urg'd his Impetuous way.
The Priviledge that Ancient Poets claim
Now turn'd to License by too just a Name;
Belongs to none but an Establisht Fame,
Which scorns to Take it—
Absur'd Expressions, crude, Abortive Thoughts,
All the lewd Legion of Exploded fau'ts,
[Page 21] Base Fugitives to that Asylum fly,
And sacred Laws with Insolence Defy.
Not thus our Heroes of the former Days,
Deserv'd, and Gain'd their never fading Bayes;
For I mistake, or far the greatest Part,
Of what some call Neglect was study'd Art.
When Virgil, seems to Trisle in a Line,
'Tis like a Warning-Piece, which gives the Sign
To Wake your Fancy, and prepare your Sight,
To reach the noble Height of some unusual Flight.
I lose my Patience, when, with Sawcy Pride,
By untun'd Ears I hear His Numbers try'd.
Reverse of Nature! shall such Copies, then
Arrain th' Originals of Maro's Pen!
And the rude Notions of Pedantick Schools
Blaspheme the sacred Founder of Our Rules!
The Delicacy of the nicest Ear
Finds nothing harsh, or out of Order There
Sublime or Low, unbended or Intense,
The sound is still a Comment to the Sense.
A skilful Ear, in Numbers shou'd preside,
And all Disputes without Appeal decide.
This ancient Rome, and Elder Athens found,
Before mistaken stops debauch'd the sound.
When, by Impulse from Heaven, Tyrtaeus Sung,
In drooping Souldiers a new Courage sprung;
Reviving Spartans now the fight mantain'd,
And what Two Gen'rals Lost, a Poet Gain'd.
By secret Influence of Indulgent Skyes,
Empire, and Poesy Together rise.
True Poets are the Guardians of a State,
And when They Fail, portend approaching Fate.
[Page 23] For that which Rome to Conquest did Inspire,
Was not the Vestal, but the Muses sire;
Heaven joyns the Blessings, no declining Age,
E're felt the Raptures of Poetick Rage.
Of many faults, Rhyme is (perhaps) the Cause,
Too strict to Rhyme We slight more useful Laws.
For That, in Greece or Rome, was never known,
'Till By Barbarian Deluges oreslown,
Subdu'd, Vndone, They did at Last, Obey,
And change their Own for their Invaders way.
I grant that from some Mossy, Idol Oak
In Double Rhymes our Thor and Woden spoke;
And by Succession of unlearned Times,
As Bards began so Monks Rung on the Chimes.
But now that Phaebus and the sacred Nine,
With all their Beams on our blest Island shine,
Why should not We their ancient Rites restore
And be, what Rome or Athens were Before?
O may I Live to see that glorious Day,
And sing loud Paeans through the Crowded way
When in Triumphant state the British Muse
True to her self shall Barb'rous aid refuse.
And in that Roman Majesty appear,
Which none knows better and none Comes so near.

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