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Such mimic Swift or Prior to their cost,
When once a genius breaks through common rules, Were ever yours,—be what you were before,
If Pope, the prince of poets, sick a-bed,
TO MR. SPENCE.
PREFIXED TO THE ESSAY ON POPE'S ODYSSEY. 'Tis done-restor'd by thy immortal pen, The critic's noble name revives again; Once more that great, that injur'd name we see Shine forth alike in Addison and thee.
Like curs, our critics haunt the poet's feast, And feed on scraps refus'd by every guest; From the old Thracian dog' they learn'd the way To snarl in want, and grumble o'er their prey. As though they grudg'd themselves the joys they feel,
Vex'd to be charm'd, and pleas'd against their will.
Like bold Longinus of immortal fame,
While Pope's immortal labour we survey,
To point out faults, yet never to offend : To play the critic, yet preserve the friend; A life well spent, that never lost a day; An easy spirit, innocently gay; A strict integrity, devoid of art; The sweetest manners, and sincerest heart;
'Zoilus, so called by the ancients.
A soul, where depth of sense and fancy meet; A judgment brighten'd by the beams of wit,
IMITATION OF SPENSER.
A well-known vase of sovereign use I sing,
of China's fragile earth, with azure flowrets sheen.
The virgin, comely as the dewy rose,
Here gently sheds the softly-whispering rill;
While slowly dribbling down the scanty water drains.
The dame of Fraunce shall without shame convey This ready needment to its proper place; Yet shall the daughters of the lond of Fay Learn better amenaunce and decent grace; Warm blushes lend a beauty to their face, For virtue's comely tints their cheeks adorn; Thus o'er the distant hillocks you may trace The purple beamings of the infant morn: Sweet are our blooming maids-the sweetest creatures born.
None but their husbands or their lovers true They trust with management of their affairs; Nor even these their privacy may view, When the soft beavys seek the bower by pairs: Then from the sight accoy'd, like timorous hares, From mate or bellamour alike they fly; [airs, Think not, good swain, that these are scornful Think not for hate they shun thine amorous eye, Soon shall the fair return, nor done thee youth, to dye.
While Belgic frows across a charcoal stove (Replenish'd like the Vestal's lasting fire) [love, Bren for whole years, and scorch'd the parts of No longer parts that can delight inspire, Erst cave of bliss, now monumental pyre; O British maid, for ever clean and neat, From whom I aye will wake my simple lyre, With double care preserve that dun retreat, Fair Venus' mystic bower, Dan Cupid's feather'd
So may your hours soft-sliding steal away,
In your soft breasts the fruits of joyance grow. Ne fell despair be here with visage pale, Brave be the youth from whom your bosoms glow, Ne other joy but you the faithful striplings know.
EPISTLE TO J. PITT, ES2.
IN IMITATION OF HORACE, EPIST. IV. BOOK I. DEAR SIR,
To all my trifles you attend, But drop the critic to indulge the friend, And with most Christian patience lose your time, To hear me preach, or pester you with rhyme. Here with my books or friend I spend the day, But how at Kingston pass your hours away? Say, shall we see some plan with ravish'd eyes, Some future pile in miniature arise ? (A model to excel in every part Judicious Jones, or great Palladio's art) Or some new bill, that, when the house is met, Shall claim their thanks, and pay the nation's debt? Or have you studied in the silent wood The sacred duties of the wise and good? Nature, who form'd you, nobly crown'd the whole With a strong body, and as firm a soul: The praise is yours to finish every part With all th' embellishments of taste and art. Some see in canker'd heaps their riches roll'd, Your bounty gives new lustre to your gold. Could your dead father hope a greater bliss, Or your surviving parent more than this? Than such a son-a lover of the laws, And ever true to honour's glorious cause: Who scorns all parties, though by parties sought: Who greatly thinks, and truly speaks his thought: With all the chaste severity of sense, Truth, judgment, wit, and manly eloquence. So in his youth great Cato was rever'd, By Pompey courted, and by Cæsar fear'd: Both he disdain'd alike with godlike pride, For Rome and Liberty he liv'd-and dy'd. In each perfection as you rise só fast, Well may you think each day may be your last. Uncommon worth is still with fate at strife, Still inconsistent with a length of life. The future time is ever in your power, Then 'tis clear gain to seize the present hour; Break from the serious thought, and laugh away In Pimpern walls one idle easy day. You'll find your rhyming kinsman well in case, For ever fix'd to the delicious place. Tho' not like Lwith corpulence o'ergrown, For he has twenty cures, and I but one.
EPISTLE TO MR. SPENCE.
IN IMITATION of Horace, EPIST. X. BOOK I.
HEALTH from the bard who loves the rural sport,
Where hills adorn the mansion they defend?
And in her turn she triumphs over art;
The hand-maid now may prejudice our taste,
That man must smart at last whose puzzled sight>
INVITATION TO A FRIEND AT COURT.
Soon as the Sun the face of Nature gilds, For health and pleasure will we range the fields; O'er her gay scenes and opening beauties run, While all the vast creation is our own. But when his golden globe with faded light Yields to the solemn empire of the night; And in her sober majesty the Moon With milder glories mounts her silver throne; Amidst ten thousand orbs with splendour crown'd, That pour their tributary beams around ; Through the long levell'd tube our strengthen'd sight Shall mark distinct the spangles of the night; From world to world shall dart the boundless eye, And stretch from star to star, from sky to sky.
The buzzing insect families appear, When suns unbind the rigour of the year; Quick glance the myriads round the evening bower, Hosts of a day, or nations of an hour. Astonish'd we shall see th' unfolding race, Stretch'd out in bulk, within the polish'd glass; Through whose small convex a new world we spy, Ne'er seen before, but by a seraph's eye! So long in darkness shut from human kind Lay half God's wonders to a point contin'd ! But in one peopled drop we now survey In pride of power some little monster play; O'er tribes invisible he reigns alone, And struts a tyrant of a world his own.
Now will we study Homer's awful page, Now warm our souls with Pindar's noble rage: To English lays shall Flaccus' lyre be strung, And lofty Virgil speak the British tongue. Immortal Virgil! at thy sacred name I tremble now, and now I pant for fame; With eager hopes this moment I aspire To catch or emulate thy glorious fire; The next pursue the rash attempt no more, But drop the quill, bow, wonder, and adore; By thy strong genius overcome and aw'd! That fire from Heaven! that spirit of a god! Pleas'd and transported with thy name I tend Beyond my theme, forgetful of my friend; And from my first design by rapture led, Neglect the living poet for the dead.
EPISTLE TO MR. SPENCE.
WHEN TUTOR ΤΟ LORD MIDDLESEX.
SPENCE, with a friend you pass the hours away
'Tis true you rallied every fault you found, But gently tickled, while you cur'd the wound: Unlike the paultry poets of the town, Rogues who expose themselves for half a crown: And still impose on every soul they meet Rudeness for sense, and ribaldry for wit: Who, though half-starv'd, in spite of time and place, Repeat their rhymes, though dinner stays for grace: And as their poverty their dresses fit, They think of course a sloven is a wit; But sense (a truth these coxcombs ne'er suspect) Lies just 'twixt affectation and neglect.
One step still lower, if you can, descend, To the mean wretch, the great man's humble friend;
""Tis strange," cries Peter, “ you are out of I'm sure I thought you wiser than myself;" Yet gives him nothing-but advice too late, Retrench, or rather mortgage your estate, I can advance the sum,-'tis best for both; But henceforth cut your coat to match your cloth. A minister, in mere revenge and sport, Shall give his foe a paltry place at court, The dupe for every royal birth-day buys New horses, coaches, clothes, and liveries; Plies at the levee, and distinguish'd there Lives on the royal whisper for a year; His wenches shine in Brussels and brocade! And now the wretch, ridiculously mad, Draws on his banker, mortgages and fails, Then to the country runs away from jails: There, ruin'd by the court, he sells a vote To the next burgess, as of old he bought; Rubs down the steeds which once his chariot bore, Or sweeps the town, which once he serv'd before.
But, by this roving meteor led, I tend Beyond my theme, forgetful of my friend. Then take advice; I preach not out of time, When good lord Middlesex is bent on rhyme.
Their humour check'd, or inclination cross'd, Sometimes the friendship of the great is lost. Unless call'd out to wench, be sure comply, Hunt when he hunts, and lay the Fathers by: For your reward you gain his love, and dine On the best venison and the best French wine : Nor to lord ****** make the observation, How the twelve peers have answer'd their creation, Nor in your wine or wrath betray your trust, Be silent still, and obstinately just: Explore no secrets, draw no characters, For Echo will repeat, and walls have ears: Nor let a busy fool a secret know,
A secret gripes him till he lets it go: Words are like bullets, and we wish in vain, When once discharg'd, to call them back again. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
He gives his word—then all your hopes are gone : He gives his honour-then you're quite undone. His and some women's love the same are found; You rashly board a fireship, and are drown'd.
Most folks so partial to themselves are grown, They hate a temper differing from their own. The grave abhor the gay, the gay the sad, And formalists pronounce the witty mad: The sot, who drinks six bottles in a place, Swears at the flinchers who refuse their glass. Would you not pass for an ill-natured man, Comply with every humour that you can. Pope will instruct you how to pass away Your time like him, and never lose a day;
| From hopes or fears your quict to defend,