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Such was your gen'rous grandfire; free to grant
In parliaments, that weigh'd their prince's want;
But fo tenacious of the common cause,
As not to lend the king against his laws.
And, in a loathfome dungeon doom'd to lie,
In bonds retain'd his birth-right liberty,
And fham'd oppreffion, till it fet him free.
O true defcendent of a patriot line,
Who, while thou fhar'ft their luftre, lend'ft them thine, Vouchfafe this picture of thy foul to fee;
'Tis fo far good, as it resembles thee:
The beauties to th' original I owe;
Which when I mifs, my own defects I fhow:
Nor think the kindred mufes thy disgrace:
is not born in ev'ry race.
Two of a house few ages can afford;
One to perform, another to record.
Praife-worthy actions are by thee embrac'd ;
And 'tis my praife, to make thy praises laft.
For ev'n when death diffolves our human frame,
The foul returns to heaven from whence it came;
Earth keeps the body, verfe preferves the fame,
Principal PAINTER to his MAJESTY.
NCE I beheld the fairest of her kind,
And ftill the fweet idea' charms my
True, she was dumb; for nature gaz'd fo long,
Pleas'd with her work, that fhe forgot her tongue;
But, fmiling, faid, She ftill fhall gain the prize;
I only have transferr'd it to her eyes.
Such are thy pictures, Kneller: fuch thy fkill,
That nature seems obedient to thy will;
Comes out, and meets thy pencil in the draught;
Lives there, and wants but words to speak her thought.
At least thy pictures look a voice; and we
Imagine founds, deceiv'd to that degree,
We think 'tis fomewhat more than just to fee.
Shadows are but privations of the light;
Yet, when we walk, they fhoot before the fight;
With us approach, retire, arise, and fall;
Nothing themselves, and yet expreffing all.
Such are thy pieces, imitating life
So near, they almost conquer in the ftrife;
And from their animated canvass came,
Demanding fouls, and loofen'd from the frame.
Prometheus, were he here, would caft away
His Adam, and refufe a foul to clay;
And either would thy noble work inspire,
Or think it warm enough, without his fire.
But vulgar hands may vulgar likeness raife;
This is the leaft attendant on thy praise:
From hence the rudiments of art began;
A coal, or chalk, firft imitated man:
Perhaps the fhadow, taken on a wall,
Gave outlines to the rude original;
Ere canvass yet was strain'd, before the grace
Of blended colours found their use and place,
Or cypress tablets first receiv'd a face.
By flow degrees the godlike art advanc'd;
As man grew polish'd, picture was inhanc'd:
Greece added posture, shade, and perspective;
And then the mimic piece began to live.
Yet perspective was lame, no diftance true,
But all came forward in one common view:
No point of light was known, no bounds of art;
When light was there, it knew not to depart,
But glaring on remoter objects play'd;
Not languish'd, and infenfibly decay'd.
Rome rais'd not art, but barely kept alive,
And with old Greece unequally did strive:
Till Goths, and Vandals, a rude northern race,
Did all the matchlefs monuments deface.
Then all the Mufes in one ruin lie,
And rhime began t'enervate poetry.
Thus, in a ftupid military ftate,
The pen and pencil find an equal fate.
Flat faces, fuch as would difgrace a skreen,
Such as in Bantam's embaffy were feen,
Unrais'd, unrounded, were the rude delight
Of brutal nations, only born to fight.
Long time the fifter arts, in iron fleep,
A heavy fabbath did fupinely keep:
At length, in Raphael's age, at once they rife,
Stretch all their limbs, and open all their eyes.
Thence rofe the Roman, and the Lombard line: One colour'd beft, and one did beft defign. Raphael's, like Homer's, was the nobler part, But Titian's painting look'd like Virgil's art. Thy genius gives thee both; where true defign," Poftures unforc'd, and lively colours join. Likeness is ever there; but ftill the beft, Like proper thoughts in lofty language dreft: Where light, to fhades defcending, plays, not ftrives, Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives. Of various parts a perfect whole is wrought: Thy pictures think, and we divine their thought. Shakespear, thy 4 gift, I place before my fight; With awe, I ask his bleffing ere I write; With rev'rence look on his majestic face; Proud to be lefs, but of his godlike race. His foul infpires me,
And I, like Teucer,
Bids thee, thro' me,
while thy praife I write,
under Ajax fight:
be bold; with dauntless breaft
Contemn the bad, and emulate the best.
Like his, thy critics in th' attempt are loft:
When most they rail, know then, they envy moft.
In vain they fnarl aloof; a noify croud,
Like womens anger, impotent and loud.
While they their barren induftry deplore,
Pafs on fecure, and mind the goal before.
Old as the is, my mufe fhall march behind,
Bear off the blaft, and intercept the wind.
Our arts are fifters, tho' not twins in birth;
For hymns were fung in Eden's happy earth:
But oh, the painter mufe, tho' last in place,
Has feiz'd the bleffing firft, like Jacob's race.
4 Shakespear's picture drawn by Kneller and given to the author.
Apelles' art an Alexander found;
And Raphael did with 5 Leo's gold abound;
But Homer was with barren laurel crown'd.
Thou hadst thy Charles a while, and fo had I;
But pafs we that unpleafing image by.
Rich in thyself, and of thyfelf divine;
All pilgrims come and offer at thy fhrine.
A graceful truth thy pencil can command;
The fair themselves go mended from thy hand.
Likeness appears in every lineament;
But likeness in thy work is eloquent.
Tho' nature there her true refemblance bears,
A nobler beauty in thy piece appears.
So warm thy work, fo glows the gen'rous frame,
Flesh looks lefs living in the lovely dame.
Thou paint'ft as we defcribe, improving still,
When on wild nature we ingraft our skill;
But not creating beauties at our will.
But poets are confin'd in narrower space,
To speak the language of their native place:
The painter widely ftretches his command;
Thy pencil speaks the tongue of every land.
From hence, my friend, all climates are your own,
Nor can you forfeit, for you hold of none.
All nations all immunities will give
To make you theirs, where'er you please to live;
And not feven cities, but the world would strive.
Sure fome propitious planet then did smile,
When first you were conducted to this ifle:
Our genius brought you here, t'inlarge our fame;
For your good ftars are ev'ry where the fame.
Thy matchless hand, of ev'ry region free,
Adopts our climate, not our climate thee.
5 Pope Leo X. employ'd Raphael at Rome, and gave him large fums of money. The Vatican was painted by Raphael and Michael Angelo.