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Nor is this work the least : you well may give
To men new vigour, who make stones to live.
Through you, the Danes, their short dominion lost,
A longer conquest than the Saxons boast.
Stonehenge, once thought a temple, you have found
A throne, where kings, our earthly gods, were

crown'd;
Where by their wond'ring subjects they were seen,
Joy'd with their stature, and their princely mien.
Our sovereign here above the rest might stand,
And here be chose again to rule the land.

These ruins shelter'd once his sacred head,
When he from Worcester's fatal battle fled;
Watch'd by the genius of this royal place,
And mighty visions of the Danish race.
His refuge then was for a temple shown ;
But, he restor'd, 'tis now become a throne.

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V. 53. These ruins shelter'd once, &c.] In the dedication, made by Dr Charleton, of his book, concerning Stonehenge, to King Charles II. there is the following memorable passage, which gave occasion to the six concluding lines of this poem. "I have had the honour to hear from that oracle of truth and wisdom, your Majesty's own mouth: you were pleased to visit that monument, and, for many hours together, entertain yourself with the delightful view thereof, when after the defeat of your loyal army at Worcester, Almighty God, in infinite mercy to your three kingdoms, miraculously delivered you out of the bloody jaws of those ministers of sin and cruelty.' D.

EPISTLE THE THIRD.

TO THE LADY CASTLEMAIN,* UPON HER ENCOURAGING HIS

FIRST PLAY.

As seamen, shipwreck’d on some happy shore,
Discover wealth in lands unknown before ;
And, what their art had labour'd long in vain,
By their misfortunes happily obtain :
So
my

much-envied muse, by storms long tost, o
Is thrown upon your hospitable coast,
And finds more favour by her ill success,
Than she could hope for by her happiness.

* Mr. Dryden's first play, called the Wild Gallant, was exhibited with but indifferent success. The lady, whose patronage he acknowledges in this epistle, was Barbara, daughter of William Villiers, Lord Grandison, who was killed in the king's service at the battle of Edge-hill, in 1642, and buried in Christ church, in Oxford. This lady was one of Charles the Second's favourite mistresses for many years, and she bore him several children. 1. Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Southampton; 2. Henry Fitzroy, Earl of Euston and Duke of Grafton; 3. George Fitzroy, Earl of Northumberland; 4. Charlotta, married to Sir Edward Henry Lee, of Ditchley, in Oxfordshire, afterwards Earl of Lichfield, and brother to Eleonora, Countess of Abingdon, on whom Dryden has written a beautiful elegy; 5. A daughter, whom the king denied to be his.

This lady was, before she was known to his Majesty, married to Roger Palmer, Esq. who was created Earl of Castlemain, by whom she had a daughter, whom the king adopted, and who married with Thomas Lord Dacres, Earl of Sussex.

The Countess of Castlemain was afterwards created Duchess of Cleveland. D.

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Once Cato's virtue did the gods oppose;
While they the victor, he the vanquish'd chose: 10
But
you

have done what Cato could not do,
To choose the vanquish’d, and restore him too.
Let others still triumph, and gain their cause
By their deserts, or by the world's applause,
Let merit crowns, and justice laurels give,
But let me happy by your pity live.
True poets empty fame and praise despise,
Fame is the trumpet, but your smile the prize.
You sit above, and see vain men below
Contend for what you only can bestow :
But those great actions others do by chance
Are, like your beauty, your inheritance:
So great a soul, such sweetness join'd in one,
Could only spring from noble Grandison.
You, like the stars, not by reflection bright,
Are born to your own heaven, and your own light;
Like them are good, but from a nobler cause,
From your own knowledge, not from nature's ws.
Your power you never use but for defence,
To guard your own, or others' innocence:
Your foes are such, as they, not you, have made,
And virtue may repel, though not invade.
Such courage did the ancient heroes show,
Who, when they might prevent, would wait the

blow :
With such assurance as they meant to say,
We will o'ercome, but scorn the safest way.
What further fear of danger can there be ?

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Beauty, which captives all things, sets me free.
Posterity will judge by my success,
I had the Grecian poet's happiness,
Who, waving plots, found out a better way;
Some God descended, and preserv'd the play.
When first the triumphs of your sex were sung
By those old poets, beauty was but young,
And few admir'd the native red and white,
Till poets dress'd them up to charm the sight;
So beauty took on trust, and did engage
For sums of praises till she came to age.
But this long-growing debt to poetry
You justly, madam, have discharg'd to me,
When your applause and favour did infuse
New life to my condemn’d and dying muse.

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:

EPISTLE THE FOURTH.

TO MR. LEE, ON HIS ALEXANDER.

THE blast of common censure could I fear, Before your play my name should not appear ; For 'twill be thought, and with some colour too,

the bribe I first receiv'd from you ; That mutual vouchers for our fame we stand, And play the game into each other's hand; And as cheap pen'orths to ourselves afford,

I pay

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As Bessus and the brothers of the sword.
Such libels private men may well endure,
When states and kings themselves are not secure
For ill men, conscious of their inward guilt,
Think the best actions on by-ends are built.
And yet my silence had not 'scap'd their spite ;
Then, envy had not suffer'd me to write ;
For, since I could not ignorance pretend,
Such merit I must envy or commend.
So many candidates there stand for wit,
A place at court is scarce so hard to get :
In vain they crowd each other at the door;
For e'en reversions are all begg'd before:
Desert, how known soe'er, is long delay'd ;
And then too fools and knaves are better pay'd.
Yet, as some actions bear so great a name,
That courts themselves are just for fear of shame;
So has the mighty merit of your play
Extorted praise, and forc'd itself away.
'Tis here as 'tis at sea; who farthest goe
Or dares the most, makes all the rest his foes.
Yet when some virtue much outgrows the rest,
It shoots too fast and high to be express'd;
As his heroic worth struck

envy dumb,
Who took the Dutchman, and who cut the boom.
Such praise is yours, while you the passions move,
That 'tis no longer feign’d, 'tis real love,
Where nature triumphs over wretched art;
We only warm the head, but you the heart.
Always you warm; and if the rising year,

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