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But now we show the world a nobler way, With how inuch ease is a young Muse betray'd!
And specious fatt'ry's more pernicious bait,
What mod’rate fop would rake the Park or The weighty bullion of one sterling line, Who among troops of faultless nymphs may Drawn to French wire, would thro' whole pages Variety of such is to be found : (choose? shine.
Then take a subject proper to expound; I speak iny private but impartial sense, But moral, great, and worth a poet's voce, With freedom, and I hope without offence; For men of sense despise a trivial choice: For I 'll recant when France can show me wit And such applause it must expect to mect, As strong as ours, and as succinctly writ. As would some painter busy in a street "Tis true, composing is a nobler part;
To copy bulls and bears, and ev'ry sign But good translation is no easy art.
That calls the staring sots to nasty wine. For though materials have long since been found, Yet 'tis not all to have a subject good; Yet both your fancy and your hands are bound; It must delight us when 'uis understood. And by improving what was writ before, He that brings fulsome objects to niy view Invention labors less, but jndgement more. (As many old have done, and many new) The soil intended for Pierian seeds
With naiiseous images my fancy fills, Must be well purg'd from rank pedantic weeds. And all goes down like oxymel of squills. Apollo starts, and all Parnassus shakes, Instruct ihe list’ning world how Maro sings Ai the rude rumbling Baralipton makes. Of useful subjects and of lofty things. For none have been with admiration read, These will such true, such bright ideas raise, But who (beside their learning) were well bred. As merit gratitude as well as praise :
The first great work (a task perform'd by few) But foul descriptions are offensive still, Is, that yourself may to yourself be true : Either for being like, or being ill. No mask, no tricks, no favor, no reserve; For who, without a qualm, hath ever look'd Dissect your mind, examine ev'ry nerve. On holy garbage, though by Homer cook'd? Whoever vainly on his strength depends, Whose railing heroes, and whose woundedGods, Begins like Virgil, but like Mevius ends. Make some suspect he snores as well as nods. That wretch (in spite of his forgotten rhymes), But I offend — Virgil begins to frown, Condemn'd to live to all succeeding times, And Horace looks with indignation down; With pompous nonsense anda bellowing sound, My blushing Muse with conscious fear retires, Sung lofty Ilium tumbling to the ground. And whom they like implicitly admires. And (if my Muse can through past ages see) On sure foundations let your fabric rise, That noisy, nau:eous, gaping fool was he: And with attractive majesty surprise, Exploded when, with universal scorn, Not by affected meretricious arts, The mountains labor'd and a mouse was born. But strict harmonious symmetry of parts;
Learn, learn, Crotona's brawny wrestler cries, Which through the whole insensibly must pass, Audacious mortals, and be timely wise ; With vital heat to animate the mass : 'Tis I that call, remember Milo's end,
A pure, an active, and auspicious flame, [came, Wedg'd in that timber which he strove to rend. And bright as heaven, from whence the blessing Each poet with a diff 'rent talent writes; But few, oh few, souls pre-ordain'd by fate, One praises, one instrucis, another bites. The race of Gods, have reach'd that envied Horace did ne'er aspire to Epic bays,
No rebel Titan's sacrilegious crime, [height. Nor lofty Maro stoop to Lyric lays.
By reaping hills on hills, can hither clinub; Examine how your humor is inclin'd, The grizly ferryman of hell denied And which the ruling passion of your mind; Eneas entrance, till he knew his guide : Then seek a poet who your way does bend, How justly then will impious morials all, And choose an author as you choose a friend ; Whose pride would soar to heaven without a call! Unised by this sympathetic boud,
Pride (of all others the most darg'rous fault) You grow familiar, intimate, and fond ; Proceeds from want of sense or want of thought. Your thoughts, your words, your styles, your The rien who labor and digest things most, No longer his interpreter, but he. [souls agree, Will be much apter wu ussjond than buat:
For if your author be profoundly good, Affected noise is the most wretched thing
In spite of nonsensc, never fail of sound.
What I have instanc'd only in the best, Crge your success, deserve a lasting name, Is, in proportion, true of all the rest.
She'll crown a grateful and a constant flame. Take pains the genuine meaning to explore ; But if a wild uncertainty prevail, There sweat, there strain, tuy thic laborious oar; And turn your veering heart with ev'ry gale, Search ev'ry comment that your care can find,' You lose the fruit of all your foriner care Some here, some there, may hit the poet's mind; For the sad prospect of a just despair. Yet be not blivdly guided by the throng: A quack (too scandalously mean to name) The multitude is always in ihe wrong. Had, by man-midwifery, got wealth and fame: When things appear onnatural or hard, As if Lucina had forgot her trade, Consult your author, with himself compar'd; The laboring wife invokes hvis surer aiu. Who knows what blessing Phæbus may bestow, Well-season'd bowls the gossip's spirits raise, And fature ages to your labor owe?
Who, while sheguzzles, chats the doctor's praise; Such secrets are not easily found out ;
And largely what she wants in words supplies But, once discorer'd, leave no room for doubt. With naudlin-eloquence of trickling eyes. Truth stamps conviction in your ravish'd breast, Bur what a thoughtless animal is nian? And peace and joy attend the glorious guest.
How very active in his own trepan ! Truth still is one; truth is ativinely bright; For grecly of physicians' frequent fees, No cloudy doubts obscure her native light; From feinale mcllow praise he takes degrees; While in your thoughts you find the least debate, Struts in a new unlicens'd gown, and then, You may confound, but never can translate. From saying women, falls io killing men. Your style will thus thro' all disguises show, Another such liad left the nation thin, For none explain more clearly than they know. In spite of all the children he brought in. He only proves he understands a text, His pills as obiek as hand-granadoes few, Whose exposition leaves it unperplex'd. And where they fell, as certainly they slew ; They who too faithfully ou names insist, His name struck ev'ry where as great a damp Rather create than dissipate the mist;
As Archimedes' thro' the Roman camp. And grow unjust by being over-nice
With this, the doctor's pride began to cool; (For superstitious virtue turns to vice). For smarting soundly may convince a fool. Let Crassus' * ghost and Labienus tell But now repentance came too late for grace, How iwice in Parthian plains their legions fell: And ineagre famine star'd him in the face : Since Rome hath been so jealous of her fame, Fain would he to the wives be reconeild, That few know Pacorus' or Monæses' name. But found ao husband left to own a child.
Words in one language elegantly us'd, The friends that got the brats were poison'd too; Will bardly in another be excus'd.
In this sad case what could our vermin do? And some that Rome admir'd in Cæsar's time, Worried with debts, and past all hope of bail, May neither suit our genius nor our clime. Th'unpitied wretch lies rolling in a jail : The genuine sense, intelligibly told,
And there.with basket-alms scarce kept alive, Shows a translator both discreet and bold. Shows how mistaken talents ought to thrive. Excursions are inexpiably bad ;
I pity, from my soul, unhappy men, And 'tis much safer to leave out than add. Compellid hy want to prostitute their pen ; Abstruse and mystic thoughts you must express
Who must, like lawyers, either starve or plead, With painful care, but seeming easiness ; And follow, right or wrong, where guineas lead! For truth shines brightest thro' the plainest But you, Pompilian, wealthy pamper'd heirs, dress.
Who to your country owe your swords and cares, Thi Enean Muse, when she appears in state, Let no vain hope your easy inind seduce, Makes all Jove's thunder on her verses wait ; For rich ill poets are without excuse. Yet writes sometimes as soft and moving things "Tis very dang'rous tampering with a Muse; As Venus speaks, or Philomela sings. The profit 's small, and you have much to lose : Your author always will the best advise : For though true wii adorns your birth or place, Full when he falls, and when he rises rise: Degenerate lines degrade thi attainted race.
Na • Hor. üi, Od. 6,
No poet any passion can excite, [write. This antient Rome and elder Athens found,
True poets are the guardians of the state,
For that which Rome io conquest did aspire, Beware what spirit rages in your breast ; Was not the restal, but the Muse's tire; For ten inspir’d, ten thousand are possest.
Heaven joins the blessings : no declining age Thus make the proper use of each extreme,
E'er felt the raptures of poetic rage. And write with fury, but correct with phlegin. Of many faults rhyme is perhaps the cause; As when the cheerful hours too freely pass, Too strict io rhyme, ire stiglit more useful laws; And sparkling wine smiles in the tempting ylass, for that, in Greece or Rome, was never known, Your pulse advises, and begins to beut
Till by barbaruin deluges o'erflown : • Throuclı ev'ry swelling rein a lou: retreat: Subdu'd, undone, they did at last obey, So when a Muse propitiously invites,
And change their own for their invader's
way. Improve her favors, and indulge her flights ; I graut ihat, from some mmosse idol oak, But when you find ihat vigorous heat abate, In double rhymes our Thor and Weden spoke ; Leave off, and for another summons wait.
And by succession of unlearned times, Before the radiaut sun a glimn'ring lamp, As bards began, so monks rung on the chimes. Adulterate mictals to the sterling stamp,
But now that Phæbus and the sacred Nine Appear not meaner than mere human lines, With all their beams on our blest island shine, Compar’d with those which inspiration shines : Why should not we their antient rights restore, These nervous, bold; those languid and remiss; And be what Rome or Athens were before? There, cold salutes; but here a lover's kiss. *Have you forgot howRaphael's numerous prose Thus have I seen a rapid headlong tide
Led our exalied souls thro' heavenly camps, With foaming waves ihe passive Soane divide ;
And mark'd the ground where proud a postate Whose lazy waters without motion lay,
• thrones While he with eager force, vry'd his impetuous Defied Jehovah! here, 'twixt host and host, way.
(A narrow, but a dreadful interval) The privilege that antient poets clain, • Portenious sight! before the cloudy van Now turn'd to licence by too just a name,
Satan will vast and haughty strides advanc'd, Belongs to none but an establish'd fame, Came tow'ring arm'd in adamant and gold. Which scorns to take it
There bellowing engines, with their fiery tubes, Absurd expressions, orucle abortive thoughts, Dispers'd ethereal fornis, and down they fell All the lewd legion of exploded faults,
By thousands, angels on archangels rolld; Base fugitives, to that asylum fly,
Recover'd, to the bills they ran, they flewe, And sacred laws with insolence defy.
Which (with their ponderous load, rocks, Not thus our heroes of the former clavs
* waters, woods), Deserv'd and gain'd their never-fadin, bays ; From their firm seats torn by the shaggy tops, For I mistake, or far the greatest part
They bore like shields before them through the Of what some call neglect, was study's art.
[foes. When Virgil secins to trifle in a linc,
Till more incens'd they hurld them at their 'Tis like a warning-piece, which gives the sign All was confusion, heaven's foundation shook, To wake your fancy, and prepare your sight,
Threat'ning no less than universal wreck ; Torcach ihe noble height of some unusual Aight. For Michael's arm main promontories flung, I lose my patience when, with saucy pride, And over-press'd whole legions weak with sin, By untui'd cars I hear his numbers oried, Yet they blasphem'd and siruggled as they lay, Reverse of nature; shall such copies then Till the
great ensign of Messiah blaz'd, Arraign th originals of Maro's pen;
* And (arm'il with vengeance) God's victorious And the ride notions of perlantic schools (Effulgence of paternal Deity!) Son Blaspheme the sacred founder of our rules? Grasping ten thousand thunders in his hand, The delicacy of the nicest car
Droie th' old original rebels headlong down, Finds nothing harshi or out of ordler there, • And sent them framing 10 the vast abyss. Sublime or low, unbended or intense,
Oinay I live to hail the glorious day, The sound is still a comment to the sense. And sing loud pæans through the crowded way,
A skilful car in numbers should preside, When in triumphant state the British Muse, And all disputes without appeal decide, True to herself, shall barbarous aid refuse,
And • An Essay on Blank Verse, out of Paradise Lost, B. VI,
And in the Roman majesty appear, (near. Who banishid David did from Hebron bring, Which Hone know better, and none come so And with a gen'ral shout proclaim'd him king.
Those very Jews, who at their
Their bunior more than loyalty exjuress'd, $27. Absalom and Achitophel. Dryden. Sow wonder'd why so long they hall obey'd Is pious times, ere priesteraft did begin, An idol monarch which their hands had made; Before polygamy was made a sin;
Thought they might ruin him they could crcate, When man on many multiplied his kind, Or melt hiin to that golden calf of state. Ere one to one was cursedly confin'd! But these were random bolts : no form’d design, When nature prompted, and no law dlenicd
Vor ini'rest made the factions crowd to join : Promiscuous use of concubine and bride ; The subert part of Israel, free from stain, Tlicn Israel's monarch, after Heaven's own heart, Well knew the value of a peaceful reign; Mis vigorous warmth did variously impart And looking backward with it wise affright, Towires and slaves; and wide as his command, Saw seams of wounds dishonest to the sight: Scatter'd his Vlaker's injage thro' the land, In contemplation of whose ugly scars, Michal, of royal blood, the crown did wear;
They cursid the men'ry of civil wars. A soil ungrateful to the tiller's care ;
The moderate sort of nien thns qualified, Not so the rest ; for several mothers hore
inclind the balance to the better side: To godlike Darid several sons before.
And David's wildness managed it so well,
The careful devil is still at hand with means; So beautiful, so brave, as Absalom :
and providently pimps for ill desires : Whether inspired by some diviner lust,
The good old causc reviv'd a plot requires. Ilis father got him with a greater gust;
Plots true or false are necessary things Or that his conscious destiny macke way,
To raise up commonwealihs, and ruin kings. By manly beauty, to imperial sway,
'Th'inhabitants of old Jerusalem Kárly in foreign fields be won renown,
Were Jebusites; the town so call'd from them; With kings and states allied to Israel's crown:
And theirs the native right
And ev'ry loss the men of Jebus bore,
Thus worn or weaken'd, well or ill content, And paradise was opend in his face.
Submit they must to David's government With secret joy indulgent David view'il Impoverishel, and she priv'd of all command, Ilis vogthful image in his son renewid : Their taves doubled as they lost their land; To all his wishes nothing he denied ;
And wluit was frarder ret to flesh and blood, Ind made the charming Annabel bis bride. Their gods disgracid, sud burnt like common What faults he had (for wło from faults is free!)
wood. His father could not, or he would not see.
This set the heathen priesthood in a flame; Some warın excesses which the law forbore, For priests of all religions are the same. Were construed youth that purg’d by boilingo'er, of wharsve'er descent their godhead be, And Ammon's murder, by a specious naine, Stock, stone, or other homely pedigree, Was call'd a just revenge for injur'd famc.
In his defence his servants are as bold Thus prais’d and lor'd the noble youth reinain’d, is if he had been born of beaten gold. While Daxid undisturb’d in Sion reign'd;
The Jewish rabbins, though their enemies, But life can perer be sincerely blest :
In this conclude them honest men and wise : Heayen punishes the bal, and proves the best. For 'twas their duty, all the learned think, The Jews, a headstrony, moody, inurin'ring race, Tespouse huis cause by whom they eat and drink. As ever tried th' extent and stretch of grace; from hence bega: that plot, the nation's curse, God's pamper'd people, whom, debauched with Bad in itself, but represented worse ; ease,
Rais'd in extremes, and in extremes decried : Noking could govern, nor no God could please. With oatis atlirtu'il, witli dying vows denied ; Gods they havi trieel of every shape and size, Not weighid nor window'd by the multitude; That coldsmiths could produce, or priests devise: But swallow'di in the mass, unchewd and crude, These Adam-wits, too fortunately free, Some truth there was, but daslidand brew'd with Began to dream they wanted liberty ;
To please the fools, and puzzle all the wise. [lics; And when no rule, no precedent was found Succeeding times did eqnal folly call, Of men by laws less circumscrib'd and bounil, Believing nothing, or believing all. They led iheir wild desires to woods and caves, Th’Egyptian riies the Jebusites enbrae'd; And thought that all but Savages were slaves. Where gods were recommended by their taste. They who, when Saul was dead, without a blow, Such savory deities must needs be good, Made foolish !subosheth the crown forego ; As servid ai once for worship and for food.
By force they could not introduce these gods; Yet fame deserv'd no enemy can grudge :
the buckler of the people's cause Opposid the pow'r to which they could not rise. Against ihe crown, and sculk di belind the laws. Some had in courts been great; and thrown from The wish'd occasion of the ploi he takes; Likefiends, werelarden'din impenitenco.[thence Some circumstances finds, but more lic makes: Some, by their monarch's futai inercy, grown By buzzing emissaries fills the ears From parlon'd rebels kinsmer to the throne, Of list'ning crowds with jealousies and stars Were rais'd in pow'r and pablic office high : Of arbitrary counsels brought to light, Strong bands, it hands ungrateful men could tie. And proves the King himself a Jebusite.
Of these the false Achitophel was first; Weak arguments! which yet, he knew full well, A name to all succeeiling ages curst:
Were strong with people easy to rebel. For close designs and crooked counsels fit; Por, govern'd by the moon, the giddy Jews Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit; Tread the sametrack when she the prime reneus; Restless, unfix'il in principles and place; And once in twenty years, their scribes record, In pow'r unpleas'd, impatient of disgrace: By natural instinct they change their lord. A fiery soul, which, working out its way, Achitophel still wants a chief, and none Fretted the pigmy-body to decay,
Was found so fit as warlike Absalom. And o'er-inform’d the ienemeni of clay. Not that he wish'd bis greatness to create, A daring pilot in extremity;
For politicians neither love nor hate :
Auspicious prince! at whose nativity Punish a bodv:which he could not please ; Some royal planet ruld the southern sky; . Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease ?
Thiy longing country's darling and desire; And all to leave what with his toil he won Their cloudy pillar and their guardian fire ; Te than unfeather'd two-legg'd thing, a Son ; Their second Moses, whose extended wand Got, while his soul did hudilled notions try; Divides the seas, and shows the promis d land; And born a shapeless lump, like anarchy. Whose dawning day, in ev'ry distant age, In friendship false, implacable in hate;
Has exercis'd the sacred prophet's rage; Resolvid to ruin or to rule the state.
The people's pray'r, the glad diviner's theme, To compass this, the triple bond he broke; The young men's vision, and the old men's The pillars of the public safety shook ;
dream! And fitted Israel for a foreign yoke:
Thce, Saviour, thee the nation's vows confess, Then, scisd with fear, yet still affecting fame, And, never satisfied with seeing, bless : Usurp'il a patriot's all-atoning name.
Swift unbespoken pomps thy steps proclaini, So easy still it proves, in facrious times, Aud stamm'ring babes are taught to lispa thy With public zeal to cancel private crimes, How safe is treason, and how sacred ill, How long wilt thou the gen'ral joy detain, Where none can sin against the people's will! Slarve and defraud the people of thy reign ; Where croudscan wink,and nootfence beknown, Content ingloriously to pass thy days, Since in another's guilt they find their own! Like one of Virtue's fouls that seed on praise :