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A more exalted work, and more divine.
But we, who life bestow, ourselves must live;
Good heaven! that sots and knaves should be so To wish their vile resemblance may remain ! And stand recorded, at their own request, To future days, a libel or a jest !
Else should we see your noble pencil trace Our unities of action, time, and place: A whole compos'd of parts, and those the best, With every various character exprest : Heroes at large, and at a nearer view; Less, and at distance, an ignobler crew. While all the figures in one action join, As tending to complete the main design.
More cannot be by mortal art exprest ;
165 And give more beauties than he takes away.
ELEGIES AND EPITAPHS.
TO THE MEMORY OF MR. OLDHAM.
FAREWELL, too little, and too lately known,
Farewell, too little] This short elegy is finished with the most exquisite art and skill. Not an epithet or expression can be changed for a better. It is also the most harmonious in its numbers of all that this great master of harmony has produced. Oldham's Satire on the Jesuits is written with vigour and energy. It is remarkable that Dryden calls Oldham his brother in satire, hinting that this was the characteristical turn of both their geniuses. • To the same goal did both our studies drive. Ver. 7.
Dr. J. W.
A noble error,
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue. But satire needs not those, and wit will shine 15 Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line.
and but seldom made, When poets are by too much force betray'd. Thy generous fruits, tho'gather'd ere their prime, Still show'd a quickness; and maturing time 20 But mellows what we write, to the dull sweets of rhyme.
(young, Once more, hail, and farewell ; farewell, thou But ah too short, Marcellus of our tongue ! Thy brows with ivy, and with laurels bound; But fate and gloomy night encompass thee around.
Thou youngest virgin-daughter of the skies,
Thou rollist above us, in thy wand’ring race,
Or, in procession fix'd and regular,
Or, call’d to more superior bliss,
Since heaven's eternal year is thine.
In no ignoble verse ;
While yet a young probationer,
And candidate of heaven.
If by traduction came thy mind,
Our wonder is the less to find
But if thy preexisting soul
Was form'd, at first, with myriads more, It did through all the mighty poets roll,
Who Greek or Latin laurels wore, And was that Sappho last, which once it was before.
33 And was that Sappho last, &c.] Our author here compliments Mrs. Killigrew, with admitting the doctrine of me
If so, then cease thy flight, О heaven-born mind Thou hast no dross to purge from thy rich ore: Nor can thy soul a fairer mansion find,
Than was the beauteous frame she left behind : Return.to fill or mend the choir of thy celestial
May we presume to say, that, at thy birth
Strung each his lyre, and tun'd it high,
That all the people of the sky
And then, if ever, mortal ears
'Twas that such vulgar miracles
Heaven had not leisure to renew : For all thy blest fraternity of love [above. Solemniz'd there thy birth, and kept thy holiday tempsychosis, and supposing the soul that informs her body to be the same with that of Sappho's, who lived six hundred years before the birth of Christ, and was equally renowned for poetry and love. She was called the tenth Muse. Phaon whom she loved, treating her with indifference, she jumped into the sea and was drowned. D.