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As inen of breeding, svinetines men of wit, | A vile conceit, in poinpous words exp est,
Amazeth’unlearn'd, and make the learned smile.
Alike fantastic, if too new or old. I Produc'd his play, and bece'd the knight's advice, Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Made liim observe the subject and the plot, Nor yet the last tó lay the old aside. The manners, passions, unities : what not? But most by numbers judge a poct's song; All which exact to rule, were brought about, And smooth or rough with them isrightorwrong: It'ere but a Combat in the lises left out. In the bright Muse tho'thousandcharms conspire, "What! leave the Combat out ?" exclaims the Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire; Knight;
Who haunt Parnassus but tv please their car, Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite. Not mend their minds; as some tochurch repair "Not so, by heaven!” he answers in a rage ; Not for the doctrine, but the inusic there. ) " Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on These equal syllables alone require, " the stage.”
Tho' ofiche eürihe open vowels tire; So vast a throng the stage can ne'er contain. While expletives their feeble aid do join, " Then build a new, or act it in a plain.” And ten low words ott creep in one dull line :
Thus Critics of less julgement than caprice, While they ring round the same invaried chines, Curious, not knowing; not exact, but nice, With sure returns of still expected rhymnes: From short ideas; and offend in arts
Where'er you find the cooling western brceze," (is most in manners) by a love to parts. " In the next line, “it whispers thro' the trees:".
Some to (onceit alone their taste confine, lfcrystal streams“ withpleasingmurmurscreep,"/ And glitt'ring thoughts struck ont at ev'ry line; The reader's threaten'l (norinvain) with sleep." Pleasd with a work where nothing 's just or fit; Then, at the last and only coujret fraught One glaring Chaos and wili heap of wit.. Withsonic umeaning thing they call a ihought, Poets, like painters, thus, unskillil to trace needless Alexandrive ends the song, along. The naked nature and the living grace; That, like a wounded soake, drags its slow length With gold and jewels cover ev'ry part, Leave such to tune their own dull thymes, and And hide with ornaments their want of art.
know True wit is Nature to advantage dress'd; What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow; What oft wasthonght, but ne'erso well express'd; / And praise the casy rigor of a line Something, whose truth convinc'datsiyht wefind, Where Denham's strength and IPaller's sweet. That gives us back the image of our inind.
ness join. As shades more sweetly recommend the light, True ease in writing comes from art, not chance ; Su molest plainnes sets off sprightly wit. | As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. For works may have more witihan does 'em good, Tis not enough no harshness gives ofience, A borlies perish thro' excess of blood.
The sound must seem an echo to the sense : Others for lauguage all their care express, Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows, And value books, as women men, for dress : And the smoothstreaminsinoothernumbersflows; Their praise is still - The Style is excellent! But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The Sense they humbly take upon content. The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent Words are like leaves; and, where they most roar.
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. The line too labors, and the words move slow: False eloquence, like the prismatic glass, Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain, lis gaudy colors spreads on ev'ry place ; Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along The face of Nature we no more survey ;
the main. All glares alike, without distinction gay: Hear how Timotheus varied lays surprise, Bat true expression, like th' unchanging Sun,2 | And bid alternate passious fall and rise! Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon; While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove li gilds all objects, but it alters none.
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love; Expression is the dress of thought, and still Now his fierce cyes with sparkling fury glow, Appears more decent as more suitable ; Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to How :
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found, Scotists and Thom:ists now in peace remain
Avoid extremes, and shun thé fault of such Oft, leaving what is natural and fit,
| Aud authors think the reputation safe, That always shows great pride or little sense: Which lives as long as fools are pleas'd to laugh. Those beads, as stomachis, are not sure the best, Some valuing those of their own side or mind, Which nauseate all, and nothing can digest. Sull make themselves the measure of mankind! Yet let pot each gay turn thy rapture move; Fondly we think we honor merit then, For fools admire, but men of sense approve: When we but praise ourselves in other men. As things seem large which we thro'uisis descry;Parties in wit attend on those of state, Dulness is ever apt to ipaguify.
And public faction doubles private hate. Some foreign writers, some our own, despise; Pride, malice, folly against Dryden rose, The aptients only, or the moderns, prize, In various shapes of parsons, critics, beaux : Thus wit, like faith, by cach man is applied But sense survivid when merry jests were past, To one small sect, and all are damnd beside. | For rising merit will buoy up at last. Meanly they seek the blessing to confine, Might he return, and bless once more our eyes, And force that sun but on a part to shine, , New Blackmores and new Milbourns inust arise ; Which not alone the southern wit sublines, Nay, should great Hoiner lift his awful head, But ripens spirits in cold northern climes; (Zoilus again would start up from the dead. Which from the first has shone on ages past, Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue; Enlights the present, and shall warm the last : But, like a shadow, proves the substance irue: Tho' each may feel increases and decays, For envied wit, like Sol eclips'd, makes known And see now clearer and now darker days, Th' opposing body's grossness, not its own. Regard not then if wit be old or new,
When first dat siin too pow'rful beams displays, But blame the false, and value still the true, It draw's up vapors which obscure its rays; - Some ne'cr advance a judgement of their own, But ev'n those clouds ai last adorn its way, But catch the spreading notion of the town; Reflect new glories, and augment the day. They reason and conclule by precedent, I Be thon Ilie first true merit to befriend; Andown stalenonsense which ibey nie'er invent.Jllis praise is lost wlio stays till all commend. Somejudgcofauthors'names, not works; and then soort is the case, alas ! of modern rhymes, Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men. | Andris but just to let them live betimes. Of all this servile herd, the worst is he
No longer now that golden age appears; That in proud dulness joins with quality: ; When patriarch wits surviv'd a thousand years : A constant critic at the great man's board, Now length of faine (our second life) is lost, To fetch and carry nonsense for my lordi And hare threescore is all e'en thai can boast; What woeful stuff this madrigal would be, Our sons their father's falling language see, In some stary'd hackney sonnetteer, or nie! And such as Chaucer is shall Dryden be, But let a lord once own the happy lines, So when the faithful pencil has desiglid How the wit brightens! how the style refines ! Soine bright idea of the master's mind, Before his sacred name flies ev'ry fault, Where a new world leaps out at his command, And each exalted stanza tecms with ihought! And really Nature waits upon his hand; The vulgar ihus thro’invitation err;
When the ripe colors soften and unite, As oft the learn'd by being singolar:
| And sweetly nielt into just shade and light; So much they scorn the crowd, that if the throng When mellowing years theirfull perfection give, By chance go right, they purposely go wrong: TAnd each bold figure just begins to live; So schisınatics the plain believers quit,
The treach'rous colors the fair art betray, And are hut damn'il for having too inuch wit. And all the bright creation fades away! Some praise at morning what they blameat night;} Unhappy wit, like most mistaken things, But always think the last opinion right. Atones noi for that envy which it brings. A Muse by these is like a ra istress us'al; In youth alone its empty praise we boast; This hour'she's idoliz'd, the next abus'd ; Bui soon the short-liv'd vanity is lost While their weak heads, like towns unfortified, Like some fair flow'r the early spring supplies 'Twixtsenscand nonsense daily change their side. That gaily blooins, but ev'n in blooming dies. Ask them thecause; they're wiscr still, they say; What is this wit, which must our cares emplo;! And still 10-inorrow wiser than in day. | The owner's wife, that other inen enjoy : We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow; | Then most our trouble still when most admir'd, Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so And still the more we give, the more requir’d; Once school-divines this zealous isle o'erspread: Whose fame with pains we guard, but lose with Who knew inost sentences was deepest read: Sure some 10 vex, bui nerer alleo please : (ease, Fain, Gospel, all seein'd made to be disputed, 'Tis what the vicious fear, the virtuous shun; And none had sense enough to be confuied : By fools 'ris hated, and by knaves undone!
If wit so much from ign'rance undergo, But you with pleasure own your errors past, Ah let not learning 100 cominence its foe! | And inake each day a critique on the last. Of old, those inet rewards who could excel, "Tis not enough your counsel still be true; And sich were prais'd who but endeavour'd well: Blunttruths moremischiefthannice falsehoodsdo: Tho' riunplis were to gen'rals only due, Men must be taught as if you taught them not, Crowns were reserv'd to grace the soldiers too. And things unknown propos'd as things forgot. Now, they who reach Parnassus' lofty crown Without good-breeding, truth is disappror'd ; Fanploy their pains to spurn some others down; That only makes superior sense belov'd. And while self-love each jealous writer rules, Be niggards of advice on no pretence; Contending wits become the sport of fools; For the worst avarice is that of sense. But still the worst with most regret cornmend, With mean complacence ne'er betray your trust, For each ill author is as bad a friend.
Nor be so civil as to prove unjust. To wltat base ends, and by what abject ways, Fear not the anger of the wise to raise; Are inortals tirg'd through sacred lust of praise! Those best can bear reproof who merit praise. Ah! ne'er so dire a thirst of glory boast,
"Twere well inighựcritics still thisfreedom take; Nor in the critic let the man be lost.
But Appius reddens at each word you speak, Good nature and good sense must ever join: And stares tremendous, with a threat'ning eye, To err is huinan; to forgive, divine.
Like some fierce tyrant in old tapestry, But if in noble minds some dregs remain, Fear most to tax an honorable fool, Not yet purg'd off, of spleen and sour disdain, | Whose right it is, uncensur'il, to be dull; Discharge that rage on more provoking crimes, Sugh, withoui wit, are poets when they please, Nor fear a dearth in these Hagitious times, As without learning they can take degrees. No partion vile obscenity should find,
Leave dang'rous truths 10 unsuccessful satires, Tho' wit and art conspire to move your mind; And Alatı'ry to fulsome dedicators, [more But dulness with obscenity must prove' Whom, when they praise, the world believes no As shameful sure as impotence in love. | Than when they promise to give scribbling o'er. In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease, | 'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain, Sprank the rank weed, and thriv'd with large And charitably let the dull be vain :' • increase :
Your silence there is better than your spite ; When love was all an easy monarch's care; For who can rail so long as they can write? Seldom at council, never in a war,
Still humming on, their drowsy course they keep, Jilts ruled the state, and statesmen farces writ; And lash'd so long, like tops, are lash'd asteep. Nay, wits had pensions, and young lords had wit: False steps but help them to renew the race; The fair sat panting at a courtier's play, As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace? And not a mask went unimprov'd away; What crowds of these, impenitently bold, The modest fan was lifted up no more ; In sounds and jingling syllables grown old, And virgins smil'd at what they blush'd before. Still run on poets in a raging rein,.. The following licence of a foreign reign Ev'n to the dregs and squeezings of the brain; Did all the dregs of bold Socinus drain ; Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense, Then unbelieving priests reform’d the nation, And rhyme with all the rage of impotence! And taught more pleasant methoils of salvation; Such'shamefill bards we have; and yet'tis true, Where Heaven's free subjects might their rights There are as nad abandon'd critics too.
The book ful blockhead, ignorantly read, Let God hiigself should seem too absolute : With loads of Icarned lumber in his head, Pulpits their sacred satire learn'd to spare, With his own tongue still edifies his ears, And rice admir'd to find a flatt'rer there! And always list'ning to himself appears... Encourag'd thus, wit's Titans bray'd the skies, All books he reads, and all he reads assails, And the press groan'd with licens'd blasphemies. From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales : These monsters, critics! with your darts engage, With him, most authors steal their works,orbuy; Here point your thunder, and exhaust your rage! Garth did not write his own Dispensary. Yet shun their fault, who, scandalously nice, Name a vew play, and he's the Poet's friend, Will needs mistake an author into vice: Nay,show'dhisfaults, butwhenwould Poetsmend? All seems infected that th' infected spy, No place so sacred from such fops is barrd, . As all seems yellow to the jaundic'd eye, Nor is Paul's church inore safethan Paul's church
Learn then what morals critics oughi to show, yard: For 'tis but half a judge's task to know. Nay, fly to altars; there they 'll talk you dead; Tis not enough, taste,judgement, learning, join; For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. In all you speak, let truth and candor shine : Distrustful sense with modest cantion speaks, 2 That not alone what to your sense is due It still looks home,and short excursions niakes; All may allow, but seek your friendship too. But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks, )
Be silent always when you doubt your sense; And never shock'd, and never turn'd aside, And speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidencc: Bursts out, resistless, with a thund'ring ride. Some positive, persisting fons we know,
But where's the man who counsel can bestow, Who, if once wrong, will necds be always so; Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbiass d or by favor or by spite ;
Stemm'd the wild torrent of a barb'rous age, Nor dully prepossess'd, nor blindly right; - | And drove those holy Vaudals off the stage. Tho'leari'd well-bred, and tho' well bred sincere, But sce! cach Muse, in Leo's golden days, Modestly bold, and humanly severe ;
Starts from hertrance, and trims her wither'd bars Who to a friend his faulis can freely show, Rome's antient Genius, o'er its ruin spread, And gladly praise the merit of a foe?
Shakes off the dust, and rears its rer'rend head. Blest with a taste exact, yet uncontin'd; Then Sculpture and her sister-arts revive; A knowledge both of books and human kind; Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live! Gen'rous converse; a soul exempt from pride! With sweeter notes each rising teinple rungi And love to praise, with reason on his side ? A Raphael painted, and a Vida sung.
Such once were Critics; such the happy few Immortal Vida! on whose honor'd brow Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow, The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore, Cremona now shall ever boast thy name; Spread all his sails, and durst the deeps explore, As next in place to Mantua, next in fame! He steer'd securely, and discover'd far,
But soon by impious arts from Latium chas'd, Led by the light of the Mæonian Star.
Their antieni bounds the banish'd Muses passid; Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free,
Thence Arts o'erall the northern world advance, Still fond and proud of savage liberty,
Put Critic-learning flourish'd most in France : Receiv'd his laws, and stood convinc'd; 'twas fit, The rules a nation, born to serve obey, ebeys; Who conquer'd Nature should preside o'er Wit. And Boileau still in right of Horace swavs.
Horace still charins with gracetil negligence, But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis d, And without method talks us into sense; And kept unconquer'd and unciviliz'd ; Will, like a friend, familiarly convey
Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold, . The truest notions in the easiest way.
We still defied the Romans, as of old. He who, supreme in judgement as in wit, Yet some there were, among the sounder few Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ; Of those who less presum'd, and better knew, Yet judg'd with coolness, tho'he sing with fire; / Who durst assert the juster antient cause, His Precepts teach but what his Works inspire. And here restor'd Wit's fundamental laws; Our Critics take a contrary extreme ;
Such was the Muse whole rules and practice tell, They judge with fury, but they write with Nature's cbiel Master-piece is writing well." phlegm ;
Such was Roscommon, not more learn 'd than Nor suffers Horace more in wrong translations good, By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations. With inanners gen'rous as his noble blood;
See Dionysius Homer's thoughis rehne, |To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, And call new beauties forth from ev'ry line! And er'ry Author's merit but his own.
Fancy and art in gay Petronius please; Such late was Walsh, the Muse'sjud-eand friend, The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease. Who justly knew to blame or io commend : . In grave Quintiliau's copious work we find To failings mild, but zealous for desert; The justest rules and clearest method join'd: The clearest head, and the sincerest heart. Thus useful arms in magazines we place, This humble praise, lamented shade! receive, All rang'd in order, and dispos’d with grace; This praise at least a grateful Muse may give. But less to please the eye than arm the band; The Nuse whose early voice you taught to sing, Still fit for use, and ready at command. Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd hertenderwing,
Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine inspire, (Her guide now lost) no more attempts to rise, And bless their Critic with a Poet's fire. But in low numbersshortexcursion ries: (vier; An ardent judge, who, zealous in his trust, Content, if hence th' unlearn'ai their wanis ina's With warmth gives sentenoc, yet is always just; The learn'd reflect on what before they knew :' Whose own example strengthens all his laws; Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame; . And is himself that great sublime he draws. Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame:
Thus long succecling Critics justly reign'd, l Averse alike to flatter, or offend; Licence repress'd, and useful laws ordain'd. Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend. Learning and Rome alike in empire grew, And Arts still follow'd where the Eagles flew : | From the same foes, at last, both felt their § 10. The Rape of the Lock. Pope. doom;
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos; And the same age saw Learning fall, and Rome. With Tyranny then Superstition join'd;
Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis.
NART As that ihe body, this enslav'd the mind; Much was beliey'd, but little understool;
CANTO I. And to be dull was construed to be good : What dire offence from am'rous causes A second deluge Leaning thus o'er-run;
springs, And the Monks finish'd what the Goths begun. What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
At lengih Erasmus, that great injur'd name; I sing — This verse to CARYL, Muse! is due, The glory of the Priesthood, and the shame! This esen Belinda may vouchsafe to view :
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, Know further yet—whoerer fair and chaste If She inspire, and le approve my lays. [pel Rejects mankind, is by some sylph embrac'd :
Say what strange notive, goddess! could coin-|For spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease A well-bred Lord t'assault a gentle Belle? Assuine what sexes and what shapes they please. O say, what stranger cause, yei unexplor'd, What guards the purity of melting maids Could make a gentle Belle reject a Lord ? In courtly balls and midnight masquerades, In tasks so bold can little men engage ? Safe from the treach'rous friend, the daring spark, And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage? The glance by day, the whisper in the dark,
Sol thro' white curtains shot a tim'rous ray, When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, And op'd those eyes that inust eclipse the day : When music softens, and when dancing fires? Now lapdogs gave themsclves the rousingshake; 'Tis but their sylph, the wise celestials know, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: Tho' honor is the word with men below. Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their ,, ground,
face, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. For life predestin'd to the gnomes' embrace. Belinda still her downy pillow pressid,
These swell their prospects and exalt their pride, Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest When offers are disdain'd, and love denied : *Twas He had suinmond to her silent bed Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain, (train, The morning-dreams that hover'd o'er her head-While pecrs, and dukes, and all their sweeping A youth more glitt'ring than a birth-night beau, And garters, stars, and coronets appear, That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow, And in soft sounds “ your grace" salutes their ear. Seemed to her çar his winning lips to lay, 'Tis these that early taint the female soul, And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say: Instruct the eye of young coquettes to roll,
Fairest of mortals, thou distingnish'd care Teach infant-cheeks a bidden blush to know, Of thousand bright inhabitants of air! And little hearts to flutter at a beau. lie'er one vision touch thy infant thought, Oft, when the world imagine women stray, Of all the Nurse and all the Priest have taught; The sylphs thro' mystic mazes guide their way; Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen, Thro' all the giddy circle they pursue, The silver token, and the circled green, And old impertinence expel by new. Or virgins visited by Angel-pow'rş,
What tender maid but must a victim fall With golden crowns, and wreaths of heavenly To one man's treat, but for another's ball ? How'rs?
When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand, Hear and believe! thy own importance know, If gentle damon did not squeeze her hand ? Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. With varying yunities, from ev'ry part, Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal'd, They shift the moving toy-shop of their heart; To maids alone and children are reveald: Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword, What tho' no credit doubting wits may give,
knots strive, The fair and innocent shall still believe. Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive. Know then, unnurber'd spirits round thee fly, This erring mortals levity inay call; The light militia of the lower sky. . Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all. These, tho' upscen, are ever on the wing, Of these am I, who thy protection claim; Hang o'er the box, or hover round the ring. | A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name. Think what an equipage thou hast in air, Late as I rang'd the chrystal wilds of air, . And view with scorn two pages and a chair. In the clear mirror of thy ruling star As now your own, our beings were of old, I saw, alas ! some dread event impend, And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould: Ere to the main this morning sun descend ; Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
But Heaven reveals not what, or how, or where;
Warn'd by thy Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
Beware of all, but most beware of man! [long, Succeeding vanities she still regards,
Hesaid ; whenShock,who thought she slept too
And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd;
First, rob'd in white, the nymph intent adores,