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354 All hell is ravish'd with fo ftreet a foog;

AN ESSAY ON POETRY".
Light souls and airy spirits glide along
In troops, like millions of the feacher'd kind, Of all those arts io which the wise excel,
Driven home by night, or some tempestuous Nature's chief maiter-piece is writing well :
wind :

No writing lists exalted man so high,
Matrons and men, raw youths and unripe maids; As facted and soul-moving poesy :
And mighty heroes' piore majestic fhades ; No kind of work requires so nice a touch,
And sons entomb'd before their parents face; And, if well finish'd, nothing hines so much.
These the black waves of bounding Styy embrace But heaven forbid we should be so profane,
Nine times circumfluent; clogg'd with noisome To grace the vulgar with that poble name.
weeds,

*Tis not a flash of fancy, which sometimes,
And all that filth which standing water breeds. Dazzling our miods, fets off the flightest rhymes :
Amazement reach'd ev’n the deep caves of deach ; | Bright as a blaze, but in a moment done :
The Gifters with blue snaky curls took breach; True wit is everlasting, like the sun,
Ixion's wheel awhile uomov'd remain's,

Which, though sometimes behind a cloud retir'd,
And the fierce dog bis three-mouth'd voice re Breaks out again, and is by all admir'd.
train'd.

Number and rhyme, and that harmonious sound,
TFhen safe return'd, and all these dangers past, Which not the nicest ear with harihaels wound,
His wife, reitorld to brcathe fresh air at lait, Are necessary, yet but vulgar arts ;
Following for fo Prolerpina was pleas'd), And all in vain these superficial parts
A sudden rage th' un vary lover seiz'd;

Contribute to the structure of the whole,
He, as the first bright glimpse of lay-light shin'd, Without a genius too; for that's the soul :
Could not rcfrain to cast one look behind;

A spirit which inspires the work throughout,
A fault of love. could hell compaffion find. As that of nature moves the world about;
A dreadful sound thrice shook the Stygian coast, A flame that glows amidit conceptioss fit;
His hopes quite fled, and all his labour lost! Ev'n something of divide, and more than wit;
Why hast thou thus undone thyself and me? Itself unseen, yet all things by i: town,
What rage is this? oh, I am snatch'd from thee! Describing all men, but describ' by Done.
(She faintly cry'd) Night and the powers of hell Where doit thou dwell? what caverns of the brain
Surround my fight; on, Orpheus! oh, farewell! Can such a vast and mighty thing contain ?
My hands ! retch forth to reach thee as before; When I, at vacant hours, in vain thy absence
But all in vain, for I am thine no more ;

[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:

away,

[day? Would ne'er again consent to let him pass.

From pleasures of the night, and business of ihe
Thus twice undone, what course remain'd to Ev'n now, 100 far transported, I am fain
take,

To check thy course, and use the needful rein.
To gain her back, already pafs'd the lake?

As all is dulness, when the fancy's bad;
What tears, what patience, could procure him So, without judgment, fancy is bui mad:
ease?

And judgment has a boundless influence
Or, ah! what vows the angry powers appease ? Not only in the choice of words, or senie,
'Tis fair, he seven long mooos bewail'd his loss But on the world, on manders, and on men;
To bleak and barren rocks, on whose cold moss, Fancy is but the fearher of the pen;
While languishing he sung his fatal flane,

Reason is that fubitantial useful part,
He mov'd ev'n trees, and made fierce tigers tame. Which gains the head, while t'other wins the heart,

hearcal
So the sad nightingale, when childless made Here I shall all che various sorts of verle,
By some rough swain who fole her young away, And the whole art of poetry rehearse;
Bewails her loss beneath a poplar shade,

But who that tak would after Horace do?
Nourns all the night, in murmurs wastes the The best of masters, and examples too!
day;

Echoes at best, all we can say is rain;
Her melring Songs a doleful pleasure yield, Dull the design, and fruitless were the pain.
And melancholy music fills the field.

'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
Shivering on Tanais' banks the bard remain'd, Is above his, who writes a borrow'd part.
And of the god's unfruitful gift complain'd. Yet modern laws are made for later faults,
Circonian dames, enrag'd to be defpis'd,

And new absurdities inspire new thoughts:
As they the feast of Bacchus soleniniz'd,

What need has facire chen to live on theft,
Slew the poor youth, and strew'd about his limbs; When so much fresh occasion still is left ?
His head, torn off from the fair body, swims Fertile our foil, and full of rankeft weeds,
Down that swift current where the Heber flows, And monsters worse than ever Nilus breeds.
And fill its tongue in doleful accents goes.
Ah, poor Eurydice! he dying cry'd;

The " Elay on Satire," which was rriten br Skr.

field and Dryden, is frinted among the pecurs of tim Eurydice resounds from every lide.

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But hold, the fools shall have no cause to fear ; Cowley might boast to have perform this party
* Tis wit and sense that is the subj-et here:

Had he with nature ; in'd the rules of art;
Defects so witty men deserve a cure,

Bur sometimes dicti ini mean, or verse ill-wrought
And those who are fo, will ev'n this endure. Deadens, or clouds, his roble frame of thought.

Fift then, of songs: which a wro much abound, Though ali appear in heat and fury done,
Without his song no fup is to be found;

The language Ituli muft soft and easy rus.
A moit offentive weapon, which he draws

Thele laws may found a little ton severe;
Onwll he meits, againlt Apollo's laws.

But judgment yields, and fancy giverns here,
Though nothing seenis more easy, yet no part Which, though excravagant,'this niule allows,
Of poetry requires a vicer art;

Aus makes the work much easier than it shows. For as in rows of richest pcarl there lies

Ofa!s the ways that wiselt men could find
Jany a blemish that escapes out cyes,

To mend the aye, and mortify mankind,
The leail of which defe as is plainly shown Satire well-vri has most succetsful prov'd,
In one small ring, and brings the value down : And cures, brcause the remedy is l.v'd.
So songs frould be to just perfection wrriught;

'Tis hard to write on such a subject more,
Yet where can one le scen without a fauit? TVithout repeating things said vit' before !
Exact p:opriety of word and thought;

Sune vulgar errors only we'll remove,
Expreflion easy and the' fancy high;

That stain a beauty which we so much love.
Yer that not seem to'creep, nor this to fly; Of chosen words fome take not care enough,
No words transpos’d, but in such order all, And think they should be as che lubject rough;
As wrought with care, yet seem by chance to fall. This poem muf be more exactly made,
Here, as in all things else, is most unfit,

And sharpest thoughts in smootheft words convey'd.
Bare ribaldry, that poor pretence to wit; Some think, if sharp enough, they cannot fail,
Such 'naseous songs by a late author f made, As if their only business was to rail :
Call an unwilling' censure on his fhade.

But human frailty nicely to unfold,
Not that warm thoughts of the transporting joy Distinguithes a satyr from a scold.
Can shock the chastest, or the nicest cloy;

Rage you must hide, and prejudice lay dowo;
But words obscene, trio gross to move desire, A satyr's smile is sharper than his frown;
Like heaps of fuel, only choke the fire.

So while you seeni to flight fome rival youth, On other themes he well deserves our praise; Malice itself may pass fomerines for truth. But palls that apperite he meant to raise..

The Laureat + here may juftly claim our praise, Next, elegy, of sweer, but solemn voice,

Crown'd by Mack Fleckno | with inmortal bays;
And of a subject grave, exacts the choice;

Yee once his Pegasus q has borne dead weight,
The praise of beauty, valour, wit contains; Rid by some lumipish minister of state.
And there too ofi' despairing love complains : Here reft, my muse, suspend thy cares awhile,
In vain, alas! for who by wit is moy'd ?

A more important task attends thy tuil.
That phenix-sne deserves to be belor'd;

As some young eagle, that designs to fly
But noisy nonsense, and such fops as vex

A long unwonted journey through the sky,
Mankind, take most with that fantastic sex. Weighs all the dangerous enterprise before,
This to the praise of those who better knew; (l'er what wide lands and feas she is to foar,
The niany raise the value of the few.

Doubts her own strength so far, and justly fears
But here (as all our sex too oft' have try'd) The lofty road of airy, travellers ;
Women liave drawn niy wandering thoughts aside. But yet incited by some bold design,
Their greatest fault, who in this kind have writ, That does her hopes beyond her fears incline,
Is not defect in words, or want of wit;

Prunes every feather, views herself with care, iyut shouki chis muse harmonius numbers yield, At last, resolv'd, De cleaves the yielding air; And every couplet be with fancy fill'd;

Away she flies, so strong, so high, so fast,
If yet a juít coherence be not nade

She leffens' to,as, and is loft at lalt;
Between each thought; and the whole model laid So (though too weak for such a weighty thing)
So right, that every line may higher rise,

The mufe idipires a sharper note to fing.
Like godly mountains, till they reach the kies : And why should truth offend, when only told
Such trilles may perhaps of late have past;

To guide the ignorant, and warn the bold?.
And may be lik'd awhile, but never last';

On then, my muse, adventurously engage
Siis cpigram, 'tis point, 'tis what you will, To give instructions that.concern.che stage.
Bur not an elegy, nor writ with skill,

The unities of actin, time, and place
Nu ji panegyric, nor a q Cooper's-hill.

Which, if observ'd, give plays so great. a grace,
A bigher fight, and of a happier, force,

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
That bounds so fierce, the rider has no reft, From nicer faults to purge the present age,
Here foans at moạth, and moves fike one poffess'd. Less obvious errors of the English Itage.
Tie poet here must be indeed inspir'd,

First then, soliloquies had need be few,
With fury too, as well as fancy fir'd.

Extremely short, and spoke in paflion too.

+ Dryden. of 7 hc Earl Ur Rocheller.

il a famous satirical poem of his. Waller's

9 Denham's

9 A poem called, The Hind and Panther,

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Ρ ο Σ Μ 3.
Our lovers talking to themselves, for want And, though 'tis drudgery to stoop so low,
Of others, make the pit their confidant;

To him
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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;
Th' occacion should as naturally fall,

Mere coxcomhs are too obvious; oft' we fee
As when Bellario
Bellario † confeffes all.

A fool derided by as bad as he :
Figures of speech, which poets think so fine, Hawks fly at nobler game; io this low way
(Art's needless varnish to make nature shine) A very owl may prove a bird of prey.
All are but paint upon a beauteous sace,

Small poets thus will one poor fop devour,
Änd in descripcions only claim a place :

But to collect, like hees, froni every flower,
But, to make tage declaim, and grief discourse, Ingredients to compose that precious juice,
From lovers in despair fine things to force, Which serves the world for pleasure and for use,
Must needs succeed; for who cao choose but pity In spite of faction this would favour get;
A dying hero, miserably witty?

But Falstaff + stands inimitable yet.
But on the dialogues, where jest and mock

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,
What things are these who would be poets thought, And each by inspiration breaks his jelt.
By nature not inspir'd, nor learning taught? If once che justness of each part be loft,
Some wit they have, and thercfore may deserve Well may we laugh, but at the poet's cost.
A better course than this, by which they farve: That filly thing men call sheer-wit avoid,
But to write plays! why, 'tis a bold prerence With which our age so nauseously is cloyd :
To judgment, breeding, wit, and eloquence: Humour is all; wit should be only brought
Nay more; for they must look within, to find To turn agreeably fonte proper thought.
Those secret turns of nature in the mind :

But since the poets we of late have known
Without this part, in vain would be the whole, Shine in no dress so much as in their own,
And but a body all, without a soul.

The better by exanıple to convince, All this united yet but makes a part

Calt but a view on this wrong Gde of fense.
Of dialogue, that gocat and powerful art,

Firft, a soliloquy is calmly made,
Now almost lost, which the old Grecians knew, Where every reason is exactly weighd;
From whom the Romans fainer copies drew, Which once perform'd, most opporğunely comes
Scarce compreheaded since, but by a few.

Sone hero frighted at the noise of drums;
Plato and Lucian are the best remains

For her sweet sake, whom at first Gght he loves,
Of all the wonders which this art contains ; And all in metaphor his passion proves ;
Yet to ourselves we justice must allow,

But some sad accident, though yet unknown,
Shakspeare and Fletcher are the wonders now; Parring this pair, to leave the fwain alone;
Corisider them, and read them o'er and o'er, He strait grows jealous, though we know not why;
Go see them play'd; then read them as before; Then, to oblige his rival, needs will die :
For thou ch in many things they grossly fail, But first he makes a speech, wherein he cells
Qver o ir pallions still they lo prevail,

The abfent nymph how auch his flame excels;
That our own grief by theirs is rock'd asleep; And yet bequeaths her generously now
The dull are forc'd tu feel, the wise to weep: To that lov'd rival whom he does not know !
Their bcauties imitate, avoid their faults;

Who Itrait appears; but who can fate withitand?
First, on a plot employ thy careful thoughts; Too late, alas! to hold his hafty hand,
Turn it, with time, a thousand several ways; That just has given himself the cruel stroke!
This ofi', alone, has given success to plays.

Ac which his very rival's heart it broke :
Reject that vulgar error (which appears

He, more to his new friend than mistress kind,
So fair) of making perfect characters;

Most sadly mourns ac being left behind,
There's no such thing in nature, and you'll draw Of such a death prefers the pleating charms
A faultless monster which the world nc'er saw. To love, and living in a lady's arnis. (these!
Some faults must be, that his misfortunes drew, What shameful and what monstrous things are
But such as niay deserve compassion coo.

And then they rail at those chey cannot please;
Besides the main design compos'd with art, Conclude us only partial to the dead,
Each moving scene must be a plot apart;

And grudge the sign of old Ben Jonson's head;
Contrive each little turn, mark every place,

When the intrinsic value of the stage
As painters first chalk out the future face : Can scarce be judg'd but by a following age:
Yet be not fondly your own slave for this,

For dances, fiures, Italian fungs, and rhyme,
But change hereafser what appears amiss.

May keep up ünking nonsense for a time;
Think not so much where fining thoughts to But that must fail, which a w so much o'er-sules,
As what a man would say in such a cafe: [place, And ser.se no longer will submit to fools.
Neither in comedy will this suffice,

By painful tteps at last we labour up
The player too must be before your eyes !

Parnassus' hill, on whose bright airy top

19 Philafter, a play of Beaumont and Fletcher

+ Thcmatchless characer of Shakíp are.

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III.

The epic poets so divinely show,
And with just pride behold the rest below.

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

years.
Had Boslu never writ, the world had still,
Like Indians, view'd this wondrous piece of skill; In vain 'tis urg'd by an illustrious wit,
As something of divine the work admir'd;

(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
To see this promis'd land, yet stay behind?

Subjcction to a tyrant's frown,
The way is shown, but who has strength to go? And his own life would rather end,
Who can all sciences profoundly know?

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.

IV.

ODE ON BRUTUS,

I.

*T18 said, that favourite, mankind,
Was made the lord of all below;
But yet the duubtíul are concern'd to find,
'Tis only one nian tells another so.

And, for this great dominion here,

Which over other beasts we claim,
Reason our best credential does appear,

By which indeed we domineer,
But how absurdly, we may see with shame.

Reason, that solemn trifle! light as air,
Driven up and down by censure or applause;

By partial love away 'tis blown,
Or the least prejudice can weigh it down;
Thus our high privilege becomes our snare.

In any nice and weighty cause,
How weak, at best, is reason! yet the grave
Inpose on that small judgment which we have.

Our country challenges our utmost care,
And in our thoughts deserves the tendereft share

3
Her to a thousand friends we should prefer,
Yct not betray them, though it be for her.
Hard is his heart, whom no desert can move,

A mistress or a friend to love,
Above whate'er he does besides enjoy;
But may he, for their fakes, his fire or fons destroy?
For sacred justice, or for public good,
Scorn'd be our wealth, our honour, and our blood:
In such a causc, want is a happy state,
Ev'n low disgrace would be a glorious fate;
And death itself, when noble fame survives,
More to be valued than a thousand lives.

But 'tis not surely of so fair renown
To spill another's blood, as to expose our own:

Of all that's ours we cannot give too much,
But what belongs to friendthip, oh! 'tis facrilege

to touch.

V.

Can we tand by unmov'd, and see
Our mother robb'd and ravith'd? Can we be

VII.

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,

YI.

VIII.

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