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354 All hell is ravish'd with fo ftreet a foog;
AN ESSAY ON POETRY".
No writing lists exalted man so high,
*Tis not a flash of fancy, which sometimes,
Which, though sometimes behind a cloud retir'd,
Number and rhyme, and that harmonious sound,
Contribute to the structure of the whole,
A spirit which inspires the work throughout,
[return, No more allow'd to view thy face, or day
Oh! where doit thou retire ? and why doit thou: Then from his eyes, like smoke, the fleets away. Sometimes with powerful charms to hurry me auch he would fain have spoke : but fate, alas:
[day? Would ne'er again consent to let him pass.
From pleasures of the night, and business of ihe
To check thy course, and use the needful rein.
As all is dulness, when the fancy's bad;
And judgment has a boundless influence
Reason is that fubitantial useful part,
But who that tak would after Horace do?
Echoes at best, all we can say is rain;
'Tis true, the ancients we may rob with ease; Marriage por love could ever move his mind; But wlio with that meen shift himself can please, But all alone, beat by the nothero wind,
Without an actor's pride? A player's art
And new absurdities inspire new thoughts:
What need has facire chen to live on theft,
The " Elay on Satire," which was rriten br Skr.
field and Dryden, is frinted among the pecurs of tim Eurydice resounds from every lide.
But hold, the fools hall have no cause to fear; Cowley might boast to have perform this party
Had he with nature ; in'd the rules of art;
Bur sometimes diétiis niean, or verse ill-wrought
First then, of songs: which n w so much abound, Though ali appar in heat and fury done,
The language Ituli muft soft and easy rus.
These laws may found a little ton severe;
But judgment yields, and fancy grverns here,
Auc makes the work much easier than it shows, For as in rows of richest pcarl there lies
Of all the ways that wiseft men could find
To mend the age, and mortify mankind,
TVithout repeating things said vit' before !
Sune vulgar errors only we'll remove,
That stain a beauty which we so much love.
And sharpest thoughts in smoothest words con
But human frailty nicely to unfold,
Rage you must hide, and prejudice lay dowo;
So while you seen to flight fome rival youth, On other themes he well deserves our praise; Malice itself may pass fometinies for truth. But palls that appetite he meant to raise.
The Laureat + here may juftly claim our praise, Nést, elegy, of sweet, but folemn voice,
Crown'd by Mack Fleckno | with inmortal bays;
Yec once his Pegasus q has borne dead weight,
A more important task attends thy tuil.
As some young eagle, that designs to fly
A long unwonted journey through the sky,
Doubts her own strength so far, and justly fears
Prunes every feather, views herself with care, iyut should chis muse harmonius numbers yield, At last, resolvido. De cleaves the yielding air ; And every couplet be with fancy fillid;
Away she flies, so strong, so high, so fast,
She leffens' to.os, and is lost at lalt;
The mufe idipires a sharper note to fing.
To guide the ignorant, and warn the bold?. And may be lik'd awhile, but never last';
On then, my muse, adventurously engage
The unities of actirn, time, and place,
Which, if obsery'd, give plays so great. a grace,
Arc, though but little practis'd, too well know.ro Are odes; the muses' most unruly horse,
To be taught here, where we pretend alone
First then, soliloquies had need be few,
Extremely short, and spoke in paslion too.
Ρ ο Σ Μ 3.
secret incaning thow, Nor is the matter mended yet, if thus
Expose no single fop, but lay the load They trust a friend, only to tell it us;
More equally, and spread the folly broad;
Mere coxcomhs are too obvious; oft' we fee
A fool derided by as bad as he :
Small poets thus will one poor fop devour,
But to collect, like hees, froni every flower,
But Falstaff + stands inimitable yet.
Another fault which often may befall, Is held up like a rest at hitele-cock;
Is, when the wit of some great poet Iball Or elle, like hells, eternally they chine,
So overflow, that is, be nonc at all, 1 They ligh in Amile, and die in rhyme.
That ev'n his fools freak sense, as if poffeft,
But since the poets we of late have known
The better by exanıple to convince, All this united yet but makes a part
Calt but a view on this wrong Gde of fense.
Firft, a soliloquy is calmly made,
Sone hero frighted at the noise of drums;
For her sweet sake, whom at first Gght he loves,
But some sad accident, though yet unknown,
The abfent nymph how auch his flame excels;
Who Itrait appears; but who can fate withitand?
Ac which his very rival's heart it broke :
He, more to his new friend than mistress kind,
Most sadly mourns ac being left behind,
And then they rail at those chey cannot please;
And grudge the sign of old Ben Jonson's head;
When the intrinsic value of the stage
For dances, fiures, Italian fungs, and rhyme,
May keep up ünking nonsense for a time;
By painful tteps at last we labour up
Parnassus' hill, on whose bright airy top
19 Philafter, a play of Beaumont and Fletcher
+ Thcmatchless characer of Shakíp are.
The epic poets so divinely show,
In all those wits, whose nanies have spread so widea Heroic poems have a just pretence
And ev'n the force of time defy'd, To be the utmost stretch of human sense ;
Some sailings yet may be dcícry'd. A work of such inestimable worth,
Among the rest, with wonder be it told, There are but two the world has yet brought That Brocus is admir'd for Cæsar's death; forth!
By which he yer survives in fame's immortal breath. Homer and Virgil! with what sacred awe,
Brutus, ev'n he, of all the rett, Do those mere sounds the world's attention draw! In whom we should that deed the most detet, Just as a changeling seems below the rest
Is (f mankind esteem'd the best. Of men, or rather is a two-legg'd beast;
As snow, descending from some lofty hill, So these gigantic souls amaz'd we find
Is by its rolling course augmenting stil}, As much above the rest of human kind!
So from illuftrious authors down have rollid Nature's whole ftrength united! endless fame, Those great encomiums lie receiv'd of old : And univerfal shouts attend their name?
Republie orators will show esteem, Read Homer once, and you can read no more,
And gild their eloquence with praise of him : For all books elfe appear fo mean, lo
mean, fo poor, But truth, unveil'd, like a bright sun appears, Verse will seenı prose; but still persist to read, To shine away this heap of seventeen hundred And Homer will be all the books
(To whom in all hesides I willingly submit) Not hop'd to be instructed, but inspir'd :
That Cæsar's life 'no pity could deserve But he, disclosing sacred mysteries,
From one who kill'd himself, rather than serve. Has shown where all the mighty magic lies;
Had Brutus chose rather himself to slay, Describ'd the seeds, and in what order fown,
Than any master to obey, That have to such a vast proportion grown.
Happy for Rome had been that noble pride; Sure from some angel he the secret knew,
The world had then remain'd in peace, and only Who through this labyrinth has lent the clue.
Brutus dy'd. But what, alas! avails it poor mankind,
For he, whose foul disdains to owo
Subjcction to a tyrant's frown,
Would sure much rather kill himself, than only Whofe fancy flies beyond weak reason's fight,
hurt his friend And yet has judgment to direct it right?
To his own sword in the Philippian Seld Whofe just discernnient, Virgil-like, is such
Brutus indeed at last did yield : Never co say too little or too much?
But in those times self-killing was not rare, Let such a inan begin without delay;
And his proceeded only from despair : But he must do beyond what I can say;
He might have chosen else to live, Must above Taflo's lofty fights prevail,
In hopes another Cæsar would forgive; Succeed where Spenser, and ev'n Milton fail. Then, for the good of Rome, he could once more
Conspire against a life which had spar'd his before.
ODE ON BRUTUS,
*T18 said, that favourite, mankind,
And, for this great dominion here,
Which over other beasts we claim,
By which indeed we domineer,
Reason, that solemn trifle! light as air,
By partial love away 'tis blown,
In any nice and weighty cause,
Our country challenges our utmost care,
A mistress or a friend to love,
But 'tis not surely of so fair renown
Of all that's ours we cannot give too much,
Can we tand by unmov'd, and see
P Q R M S.
363 Excus'd, if in her cause we never stir,
That all the excellence of human-kiod Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the ravisher? | Concurr'd to make of both but one united mind,
Thus sings our bard with hear almost divine; Which friendship did so fast and closely bind, 'Tis pity that his thought was not as strong as fine. Not the least cement could appear by which their Would it more juftly did the case express,
souls were join'd. Or that its beauty and its grace were less.
That tie which holds our mortal frame, (Thus a nymph sometimes we see,
Which poor unknowing we a soul and body name, Who so charming seems to be,
Seems not a composition more divine, (Thine. That, jealous of a soft surprise,
Or more abftrufe, than all that does in friendship We scarce durft trust our eager eyes) Such a fallacious ambush to escape,
From mighty Cæfar and his boundlefs grace, It were but vain to plead a willing rape;
Though Brutus, once at least, his life receiv'd; A valiant son would be provok'd the more;
Such obligations, though so high believ'd, A force we therefore must confels, but acted long Are yet but flight in such a case. before;
Where friendship so possesses all the place, A marriage since did intervene,
There is no room for gratitude; since he, With all the folemn and the facred scene;
Who so obliges, is more pleas'd than his fav'd friend Loud was the Hymenean song;
can be. The violated dame * walk'd smilingly along, Just in the midst of all this noble heat, And in the midst of the most sacred dance, While cheir great hearts did both so kindly beata As if enamour'd of his light,
That it amaz'd the lookers-on, Often she cast a kind admiring glance
And forc'd them to suspect a father and a son*; On the bold struggler for delight;
(Though here ev'n Nature's self still seem to be Who afterwards appear'd so moderate and cool,
outdone) As if for public good alone he so desir'd to rule. From such a friendship unprovok'd to fall
Is horrid, yet I with that fact were all [call But, oh! that this were all which we can urge Which does with too much cause ungrateful Brutas Against a Roman of so great a soul : And that fair truth permitted us to purge
In coolest blood he laid a long design His fact, of what appears fo foul :
Against his best and dearest friend; Friendthip, that sacred and sublimest thing!
Did ev'n his foes in zeal exceed, The noblest quality, and chiefest good,
To spirit others up to work so black a deed ; (In this dull age scarce understood)
Himself the centre where they all did join. Inspires us with unusual warmth her injur'd rites Cæsar, meantime, fearless, and fond of him, to ling
Was as industrious all the while Affill, ye angels! whose inmortal bliss,
To give such ample marks of food esteem, Though more refin'd, chicfly consists in this.
As made the gravest Romans smile (guile. How plainly your bright thoughts to one anocher To fee with how much ease love can the wild be. fhinc !
He, whom thus Brutus doom'd to bleed, Oh! how ye all agree in harmony divine!
Did, setting his own race afide, The race of mutual love with equal zeal ye run, Nothing less for him provide, A course, as far from any end, as when at first begun. Than in the world's great empire to succeed:
Ye saw, and smil'd upon this matchless pair, Which we are bound in justice to allow, Who still betwixt them did so many yirtues share, Is all-sufficient proof to show
Some which belong to peace, and fome to strife, That Brutus did not strike for his owo fake : Those of a calm, and of an active life,
And if, alas ! he fail'd, 'twas only by mistake,