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So has the mighty merit of your play
Extorted praise, and forc'd itself away.
'Tis here as 'tis at fea; who fartheft goes,
Or dares the moft, makes all the reft his foes.
Yet when fome virtue much outgrows the reft,
It shoots too faft, and high, to be exprest;
As his heroic worth ftruck envy dumb,

Who took the Dutchman, and who cut the boom.
Such praife is yours, while you the paffions 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 rifing year,
As in hot regions, brings the fun too near,
'Tis but to make your fragrant fpices blow,
Which in our cooler climates will not grow,
They only think you animate your theme
With too much fire, who are themselves all phlegm.
Prizes would be for lags of flowest pace,

Were cripples made the judges of the race.
Despise those drones, who praise, while they accufe
The too much vigour of your youthful mufe.
That humble ftyle which they your virtue make,
Is in your power; you need but stoop and take.
Your beauteous images must be allow'd
By all, but fome vile poets of the crowd.
But how should any fign-poft dawber know
The worth of Titian or of Angelo ?

Hard features every bungler can command;
To draw true beauty fhews a master's hand.

EPISTLE the FIFTH.

ΤΟ THE

EARL of ROSCOMMON,

ΟΝ HIS

Excellent Effay on TRANSLATED VERSE.

W

7 Hether the fruitful Nile, or Tyrian fhore,
The feeds of arts and infant fcience bore,
'Tis fure the noble plant, tranflated firft,
Advanc'd its head in Grecian gardens nurft.
The Grecians added verfe: their tuneful tongue
Made nature first, and nature's God their fong.
Nor ftopt tranflation here: for conqu'ring Rome,
With Grecian fpoils, brought Grecian numbers home;
Enrich'd by thofe Athenian mufes more,

Than all the vanquith'd world could yield before.
'Till barb'rous nations, and more barb'rous times,
Debas'd the majesty of verfe to rhimes;

Those rude at firft: a kind of hobbling profe,
That limp'd along, and tinkled in the clofe.
But Italy, reviving from the trance

Of Vandal, Goth, and Monkish ignorance,
With paules, cadence, and well-vowell'd words,
And all the graces a good ear affords.
Made rhyme an art, and Dante's polifh'd page
Reftor'd a filver, not a golden age.

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Then

Then Petrarch follow'd, and in him we fee,
What rhyme improv'd in all its height can be:
At beft a pleafing found, and fair barbarity.
The French purfu'd their fteps; and Britain, laft,
In manly fweetness all the reft furpafs'd.
The wit of Greece, the gravity of Rome,
Appear exalted in the British loom:

The Mufes empire is reftor'd again,

In Charles his reign, and by Rofcommon's pen.
Yet modeftly he does his work furvey,
And calls a finish'd Poem an Essay;

}

For all the needful rules are fcatter'd here;
Truth fmoothly told, and pleafantly fevere;
So well is art difguis'd, for nature to appear.
Nor need thofe rules to give tranflation light:
His own example is a flame fo bright;
That he who but arrives to copy well,
Unguided will advance, unknowing will excel.
Scarce his own Horace could fuch rules ordain,
Or his own Virgil fing a nobler strain.
How much in him may rifing Ireland boast,
How much in gaining him has Britain loft!
Their island in revenge has ours reclaim'd;
The more inftructed we, the more we ftill are sham'd,
"Tis well for us his generous blood did flow
Deriv'd from British channels long ago,
That here his conqu'ring ancestors were nurft;
And Ireland but tranflated England first :
By this reprifal we regain our right,
Elfe muft the two contending nations fight;
A nobler quarrel for his native earth,
Than what divided Greece for Homer's birth.
To what perfection will our tongue arrive,
How will invention and tranflation thrive,
When authors nobly born will bear their part,
And not difdain th' inglorious praise of art!

Great

}

Great generals thus, defcending from command,
With their own toil provoke the foldiers hand.
How will sweet Ovid's ghoft be pleas'd to hear
His fame augmented by an English peer 1;
How he embellishes his Helen's loves,
Outdoes his foftnefs, and his fenfe improves ?
When these translate, and teach tranflators too,
Nor firftling kid, nor any vulgar vow,
Should at Apollo's grateful altar ftand:
Rofcommon writes; to that aufpicious hand,
Mufe, feed the bull that spurns the yellow fand.
Rofcommon, whom both court and camps commend,
True to his prince, and faithful to his friend;
Rofcommon firft in fields of honour known,
Firft in the peaceful triumphs of the gown;
Who both Minervas justly makes his own.
Now let the few belov'd by Jove, and they
Whom infus'd Titan form'd of better clay,
On equal terms with ancient wit engage,
Nor mighty Homer fear, nor facred Virgil's page:
Our English palace opens wide in ftate:
And without ftooping they may pass the gate.

1 The earl of Mulgrave,

EPISTLE the SIXTH.

то тн Е

DUTCHESS of YORK,

ON HER

Return from SCOTLAND in the Year 1682.

WHEN faftious rage to cruel exile drove

The Mufes droop'd, with their forfaken arts,
And the fad Cupids broke their ufelefs darts:

I On the 21ft of November 1663, the duke of York was married to the princefs Mary D'Ete daughter to the duke of Madena, them about fifteen years of age, and extreamly handfome.

Our

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