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From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art,
Which, without passing through the judgment, gains
The heart, and all its end at once attains.

In prospects thus, fome objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rife,
The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice.
Great Wits sometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to faults true Critics dare not mend. 160
But though the Ancients thus their rules invade
(As Kings dispense with laws themselves have made);
Moderns, beware! or, if you must offend
Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end;
Let it be feldom, and compellid by need :

165 And have, at least, their precedent to plead. The Critic else proceeds without remorse, Şeizes your fame, and puts his laws in force.

I know there are, to whose presumptuous thoughts Those freer beauties, ev’n in them, seem faults. 170 Some figures monstrous and mis-shap'd appear, Consider'd singly, or beheld too near, Which, but proportion’d to their light, or place, Due distance reconciles to form and grace. A prudent chief not always must display His powers in equal ranks, and fair array,

After ver. 158. the first edition reads,

But care in poetry must still be had,
It asks discretion ev’n in running mad;

And though the ancients, &c.
And what are now ver. 159, 160, followed ver. 191.


But with th' occasion and the place comply,
Conceal his force, nay sometimes seem to fly.
Those oft are stratagems which errors seem,
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.

Still green with bays each ancient Altar stands,
Above the reach of facrilegious hands;
Secure from Flames, from Envy's fiercer rage,
Destructive War, and all-involving Age.
See from each clime the learn'd their incense bring!
Hear, in all tongues consenting Pæans ring!
In praise fo just let every voice be join’d,
And fill the general chorus of mankind.
Hail, Bards triumphant! born in happier days;
Immortal heirs of universal praise !

190 Whofe honours with increase of ages grow, As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow; Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound, And worlds applaud that must not yet be found ! 0 may some spark of your celestial fire,

195 The last, the meanest of your sons infpire, (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, To admire superior sense, and doubt their own :

Of VARIATIONS. Ver. 178. Ed. 1.

Oft hide his force, nay seem sometimes to fly. Ver. 184. Ed. 1. Destructive war, and all-devouring Age. Ver. 186. Ed. 1. Hear, ip all tongues applauding Pæans ring! Ver. 197. Ed. 1. That with weak wings, &c.




Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,

She gives in large recruits of needful Pride!
For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, swellid with wind:
Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right reason drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know,
Make use of every friend-and every foe.
A little learning is a dangerous thing!

215 Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring : There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, While, from the bounded level of our mind, Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind; But more advanc’d, behold with strange surprize New diftant scenes of endless science rise !




Ver. 219.

Fir'd with the charms fair Science does impart,

In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Art. Ver. 223. But more advanc'd, survey, &c.

ESSAY ON CRITICISM. τοι So pleas’d at first the towering Alps we try, 225 Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky, Th’ eternal fnows appear already past, And the first clouds and mountains seein the last : But, those attain'd, we tremble to furvey The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,

230 Th’ increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes, Hills peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise !

A perfect judge will read each work of Wit With the same fpirit that its author writ: Survey the whole, nor seek flight faults to find 235 Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; Nor lose, for that malignant dull delight, The

generous pleasure to be charm’d with wit. But, in such lays as neither ebb nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low,

240 That, shunning faults, one quiet tenour keep; We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep. In wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts ; 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call,

245 But the joint force and full result of all. Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome, (The world's just wonder, and ev’n thine, O Rome!)



Per. 225.

So pleas'd at first the towering Alps to try,
Fill d with ideas of fair Italy,
The traveller beholds with chearful eyes
The lessening vales, and seems to tread the skies.

No single parts unequally surprize,
All comes united to th' admiring eyes ;

250 No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear ; The Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to fee,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be.
every work regard the writer's end,

Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applausę, in spite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit: 260
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know some trifles, is a praise.
Most Critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize,

265 And all to one lov'd folly facrifice. Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say, A certain Bard encountering on the way, Discours d in terms as just, with looks as fage, As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage ; 270 Concluding all were desperate fots and fools, Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules.



Ver. 259. As men of breeding, oft the men of wit.
Ver. 265. They talk of principles, but parts they prize.
Ver. 270. As e'er could Dennis of the laws o'th' stage.
Ver. 272. Ed. 1. That durft, &c.

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