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Life, force, and Beauty, must to all impart,
At once the fource, and end, and test of Art.
Art from that fund each just fupply provides,
Works without l'how, and without pomp prefi.
In some fair body thus th' informing Soul,
With fpirits feeds, with vigour fills, the whole,
Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve sustains;
Itfelt unseen, but in th' effects remains. -
Some, to whom Heav'n in wit has been profuse,
Want as much more to turn it to its use;
For wit and judgment often are at strife.
Though meant each other's aid, like man and
'Tis more to guide, than spur the Muse's Steed;
Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed; .
The winged courser, like a gen'rous horle
Shows most true mettle when you check his
Thole Rules of old dilcover'd, not devis'd
Are Nature still, but Nature methodiz’d.
Nature, like Liberty, is but restrain'd
By the same laws which first herself ordain'd.
Hear how learn'd Greece her' useful rules indi.
When to repress, and when indulge our Aights:
High on Parnassus'top her sons she show'd,
And pointed out those arduous paths they trod;
Held from afar, aloft, th’immortal prize,
And urg'd the rest by equal steps to rile.
Just 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 reason to admire.
Then criticism the Muse's handmaid prov'd
To dress her charms, and make her more belov'd,
But following wits from that intention stray'd,
Who could not win the mistress, woo'd the maid;
Against the poets their own arms they turn'd
Sare to hate most 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,
Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.
Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey,
Nor time nor moth's e'er fpoild so much as
Some dryly plain, without invention's aid,
Write dull receipts how poems may be made.
These leave the sense, their learning to display,
And those explain the meaning quite away.
You then, whose judgment the right course
Know well each anciENT's proper character;
H's fable, subject, fcope in ev'ry page;
Religion, country, genius of his age:
Without all these at once before your eyes
you may, but never criticise.
Be Homer's works your study and delight,
Read them by day, and meditate by night;
Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims
And trace thể Mufes upward to their spring,
Still with itself compar'd, his text peruse;
And let your comment be the Mantuan mure.
When first young Maro in his boundless mind
A work t'outlast immortal Rome design'd,
Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law,
And but from Nature's fountains scorn'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 strict 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.
Music resembles poetry; in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach
And which a master-hand alone can reach.
Įf where the rules not far enough extend,
(Since rules were made but to promote their end)
Some lucky licence anlwer tho the full
Th’intent propos'd, that licence is a rule.
Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common track,
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art.
Which, without passing through the judgment,
The heart, and all its end at once attains.
In prospects thus some objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rise,
The shapeleis rock, or hanging precipice.
Great wits fometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to faults true critics dare not mend,
But though the ancients thus their rules in-
(As kings dispense with laws themselves have
Moderns, beware! or if you must offend
Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end;
Let it be seldom, and compellid 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 whose prefumptuous thoughts
Thole freer beauties, ev’n in them, seem faults.
Some figures monftrous and mis-shap'd appear
Consider'd singly, or beheld too near;
Which, but proportion'd to their light or place,
Due diftance reconciles to form and grace,
A prudent chief not always must display
His pow rs in equal ranks and fair array,
But with th' occasion and the place comply.
Conceal his force, nay seem sometimes to Hy.
Those oft are stratagems which errors feem;
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream,
Still green with bays each ancient altar stands,
Above the reach of sacrilegious hands;
Secure from flames, from Envy's fierce rage,
Destructive war, and all-involving Age.
See from each clime the Learn’d their incense bring!
Hear, in all tongues consenting paeans ring!
In praise fo just 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 universal praise !
Whofe honours with increase of ages grow,
As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow;
Nations unborn your mighty names shall round
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
O may fome spark of your celestial fire
The last, the meanest of your sons inspire,
That on weak wings, from far, pursues your flights ;
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes,
To teach vain wits a science little known,
T'admire superior sense, and doubt their own!
John Sheffield Herzog von Budinghamshire (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 unparthenisch, und galten mehr feine Liebe zu den Wissenschaften und seinen Eifer für den guten Ges schmack, als sein, gewiß Tehr mäßiges, dichterisches Talent. Richtiger urtheilt Dr, Warton von ihn, in seinem Eliy on Pope, Vol. I. p. 201. Sein Elay on Poetry ift indeß zu bes kannt, um hier ganz übergangen zu werden. Er geht darin die verschiebnen Dichtungsarten durch, und folgt überall dem Mufter Boileau's, aber in einem sehr entfernten Abs fande. Die Wendung des ganzen Gedichts ift mehr satirisch als didaktisch, aber bei dem allen nichts weniger als anzies hend und unterhaltend, sondern vielmehr sehr arm an neuen und treffenden Zügen, und noch daju febr mittelinafig vers fificirt. Warton erklärt die folgende Stelle, besonders den legtern Theil derselberf, wo er úber die Form des neuern Trauerspiels spottet, für das Beste des gangen Gedichts. Bergl. Durch's Briefe, Th. I. Br. XVII.
The Unities of A&ion, Time and Place,
Which, if observ'd, give Plays lo great a igrace,
Are, tho' but little practis'd, too well known
To be taught here, where we pretend alone
From nicer faults to purge the prelent Age,
Lefs obvious errors of the English Stage.
First then, Soliloquies had need be few,
Extreamly short, and spoke in passion too.