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From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
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,
But care in poetry must still be had,
And though the ancients, &c.
But with th' occasion and the place comply,
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
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 !
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!)
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps to try,
No single parts unequally surprize,
250 No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear ; The Whole at once is bold, and regular.
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to fee,
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.