Sivut kuvina

Life, force, and beauty, muft to all impart,
At once the fource, and end, and test of Art.
Art from that fund each juft fupply provides,
Works without fhow, and without pomp prefi

In fome fair body thus th' informing Soul,
With fpirits feeds, with vigour fills, the whole,
Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve fuftains;
Itfelt unfeen, but in th' effects remains.

Some, to whom Heav'n in wit has been profufe,
Want as much more to turn it to its use;
For wit and judgment often are at ftrife.

Though meant each other's aid, like man and

'Tis more to guide, than fpur the Mufe's Steed;
Reftrain his fury, than provoke his speed;
The winged courfer, like a gen'rous horfe
Shows most true mettle when you check his


Thole RULES of old discover'd, not devis'd
Are Nature ftill, but Nature methodiz'd.
Nature, like Liberty, is but reftrain'd

By the fame laws which firft herself ordain'd.
Hear how learn'd Greece her ufeful rules indi-

When to reprefs, and when indulge our flights:
High on Parnaffus' top her fons fhe fhow'd,
And pointed out thofe arduous paths they trod;
Held from afar, aloft, th' immortal prize,
And urg'd the reft by equal steps to rife.
Juft precepts thus from great examples giv'n
She drew from them what they deriv'd from

The gen'rous critic fann'd the poet's fire,
And taught the world with reafon to admire.
Then criticism the Mufe's handmaid prov'd
To drefs her charms, and make her more belov'd,
But following wits from that intention ftray'd,
Who could not win the miftrefs, woo'd the maid;

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Against the poets their own arms they turn'd
Sure to hate moft the men from whom they


So modern 'pothecaries, taught the art
By doctor's bills to play the doctor's part,
Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,

Prefcribe, apply, and call their masters fools.
Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey,

Nor time nor moths e'er fpoil'd fo much as

Some dryly plain, without invention's aid,
Write dull receipts how poems may be made.
Thefe leave the fenfe, their learning to difplay,
And thofe explain the meaning quite away.

You then, whofe judgment the right course
would steer

Know well each ANCIENT's proper character;
H's fable, fubject, fcope in ev'ry page;
Religion, country, genius of his age:
Without all thefe at once before your eyes
Cavil you may, but never criticife.

Be Homer's works your ftudy and delight,
Read them by day, and meditate by night;
Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims

And trace the Mufes upward to their spring,
Still with itself compar'd, his text perufe;
And let your comment be the Mantuan mufe.

When first young Maro in his boundless mind
A work t'outlaft immortal Rome defign'd,
Perhaps he feem'd above the critic's law,

And but from Nature's fountains fcorn'd'to draw:
But when t'examine ev'ry part he came,
Nature and Homer were, he found, the fame.
Convinc'd, amaz'd, he checks the bold defign;
And rules as ftrict his labour'd work confine,
As if the Stagirite o'erlook'd each line.



Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem;
To copy Nature is to copy them.

Some beauties yet no precepts can declare, For there's happiness as well as care.

Mufic resembles poetry; in each

Are nameless graces which no methods teach
And which a master-hand alone can reach.
If where the rules not far enough extend,



(Since rules were made but to promote their end)
Some lucky licence anfwer tho the full
Th' intent propos'd, that licence is a rule.
Thus Pegafus, a nearer way to take,

May boldly deviate from the common track,
From vulgar bounds with brave diforder part,
And fnatch a grace beyond the reach of art.
Which, without paffing through the judgment,


The heart, and all its end at once attains.
In profpects thus fome objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rife,
The fhapelels rock, or hanging precipice.
Great wits fometimes may gloriously offend,
And rife to faults true critics dare not mend,
But though the ancients thus their rules in-


(As kings difpenfe with laws themfelves have

Moderns, beware! or if you must offend
Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end;
Let it be feldom, and compell'd by need;
And have, at least, their precedent to plead,
The critic elfe proceeds without remorse,
Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force.

I know there are, to whofe prefumptuous thoughts
Thole freer beauties, ev'n in them, feem faults.
Some figures monftrous and mis-fhap'd appear
Confider'd fingly, or beheld too near;

Which, but proportion'd to their light or place,

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Due diftance reconciles to form and grace,
A prudent chief not always muft difplay
His pow'rs in equal ranks and fair array,
But with th' occafion and the place comply.
Conceal his force, nay feem fometimes to fly.
Thofe oft are ftratagems which errors feem;
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream,

Still green with bays each ancient altar ftands,
Above the reach of facrilegious hands;
Secure from flames, from Envy's fierce rage,
Destructive war, and all-involving Age..

See from each clime the Learn'd their incenfe bring!
Hear, in all tongues confenting paeans ring!
In praise fo juft let ev'ry voice be join'd
And fill the gen'ral chorus of mankind.
Hail, bards triumphant! born in happier days;
Immortal heirs of univerfal praise!

Whofe honours with increase of ages grow,
As ftreams roll down, enlarging as they flow;
Nations unborn your mighty names fhall found
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
O may fome fpark of your celeftial fire
The laft, the meaneft of your fons inspire,
That on weak wings, from far, pursues your flights;
Glows while he reads, but trembles as the writes,
To teach vain wits a fcience little known,
T'admire fuperior fenfe, and doubt their own!



John Sheffield Herzog von Buckinghamshire (geb. 1650; geft. 1721.), ist weniger als Dichter merkwürdig, als wegen seiner Lebensumstände und politischen Verbindungen. Die Lobsprüche, welche ihm die besten Schriftsteller seiner Zeit, unter andern Dryden, Addison und Pope ertheilten, waren nicht ganz unpartheyisch, und galten mehr feine Liebe zu den Wissenschaften und seinen Eifer für den guten Ge schmack, als sein, gewiß sehr mäßiges, dichterisches Talent. Richtiger urtheilt Dr. Warton von ihn, in seinem Essay on Pope, Vol. I. p. 201. Sein Effay on Poetry ist indeß zu bes kannt, um hier ganz übergangen zu werden. Er geht darin die verschiednen Dichtungsarten durch, und folgt überall dem Muster Boileau's, aber in einem sehr entfernten Abftande. Die Wendung des ganzen Gedichts ist mehr satirisch als didaktisch, aber bei dem allen nichts weniger als anzie hend und unterhaltend, sondern vielmehr sehr arm an neuen und treffenden Zügen, und noch dazu sehr mittelmäßig vers fificirt. Warton erklårt die folgende Stelle, befonders den leztern Theil derselben, wo er über die Ferm des neuern Trauerspiels spottet, für das Beste des ganzen Gedichts. Vergl. Dusch's Briefe, Th. 1. Br. XVII.



The Unities of Action, Time and Place,
Which, if obferv'd, give Plays fo great afgrace,
Are, tho' but little practis'd, too well known
To be taught here, where we pretend alone
From nicer faults to purge the prefent Age,
Lefs obvious errors of the English Stage.

First then, Soliloquies had need be few,
Extreamly fhort, and fpoke in paffion too.


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