But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis’d, 715
And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd;
Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
We still defy'd the Romans, as of old.
Yet some there were, among the founder few
Of those who less prefum'd, and better knew, 720
Who durft assert the juster ancient cause,
And here restor'd Wit's fundamental laws.
Such was the Muse, whose rules and practice tell,
“Nature's chief Master-piece is writing well."
Such was Roscommon, not more learn'd than good,
With manners gen'rous as his noble blood; 726
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And ev'ry author's merit, but his own.
Such late was Walsh -- the Muse's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend ; 730
To failings mild, but zealous for defert;
The clearest head, and the fincerest heart.
This humble praise, lamented Shade! receive,
This praise at least a grateful Muse may give :
The Muse, whose early voice you taught to fing, 735
Prescrib'd her heights, and prun’d her tender wing,
(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rise,
But in low numbers Short excursions tries :