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Saces and chiefs long since had birth
Ere Cæsar was or Newton nam'd; These rais'd new empires o'er the earth,
And those new heavens and systems fram'de Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died:
They had no poet, and are dead.
ON RECEIVING FROM
THE RIGHT HON. LADY FRANCES SHIRLEY
A Standish and Two Pens.
VES, I beheld th’ Athenian queen
Descend in all her sober charms; And. Take.' she said, and smil'd serene,
• Take at this hand celestial arms :
• Secure the radiant weapons wield;
This golden lance shall guard desert, And if a vice dares keep the field,
This steel shall stab it to the heart." Aw'd, on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the sky; And dipp'd them in the sable well,
The fount of fame or infamy.
A standish, steel and golden pen!
I gave it you to write again.
You'll bring a house, I mean of peers, Red, blue, and green, nay, white and black.
L***** and all about your ears.
• You'd write as smooth again on glass,
And run on ivory so glib, As not to stick at fool or ass,
Nor stop at flattery or fib. · Athenian queen! and sober charms!
I tell you, fool, there's nothing in't: 'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms;
In Dryden's Virgil see the print. • Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies, I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes.'
EPISTLE TO ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD
AND EARL MORTIMER:
Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's
Poems, published by our Author, after the said Earl's Imprisonment in the Tower and Retreat into the Country, in the Year 1721, SUCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung,
Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. Oh, just beheld, and lost! admir'd, and mourn'd! With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd! Blest in each science, blest in every strain ! Dear to the muse! to Harley dear--in vain ! For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fond to forget the statesman in the friend; For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state, The sober follies of the wise and great ; Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit, And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear),
Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;
EPISTLE TO JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
Secretary of State in the Year 1720. A SOUL as full of worth as void of pride, 1 Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide; Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes, And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows: A face untaught to feign; a judging eye, That darts severe upon a rising lie, . And strikes a blush through frontless flattery :
All this thou wert; and being this before,
EPISTLE TO MR. JERVAS, With Mr. Dryden's Translation of Fresnoy's Art
This Epistle, and the two following, were written
some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.
THIS verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
1 This, from no venal or ungrateful muse. Whether thy hand strike out some free design, Where life awakes, and dawns at every line; Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass, And from the canvass call the mimic face : Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire Fresnoy's close art, and Dryden's native fire: And reading wish, like theirs our fate and fame, So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name; Like them to shine through long succeeding age, So just thy skill, so regular my rage.
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came, And met congenial, mingling fame with flame; Like friendly colours found them both unite, And each from each contract new strength and light.