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Quid vetat et nofmet Lucili fcripta legentes
SATIRES of Dr. DONNE.
THE manly Wit of Donne, which was the Character of his genius, fuited beft with Satire; and in this he excelled, tho' he wrote but little; fix fhort poems being all we find amongst his writings of this fort. Mr. Pope has embellished two of them with his wit and harmony. He called it verfifying them, because indeed the lines have nothing more of numbers than their being compofed of a certain quantity of fyllables. This is the more to be admired, becaufe, as appears by his other poems, and efpecially from that fine one called the Progrefs of the Soul, his verfe did not want harmony. But, I fuppofe, he took the fermoni propiora of Horace too feriously or rather, was content with the character his master gives of Lucilius,
Emunctae naris durus componere verfus.
Having spoken of his Progrefs of the Soul, let me add, that Poetry never loft more than by his not pursuing and finifhing that noble Defign; of which he has only given us the Introduction. With regard to his Satires, it is almost as much to be lamented that Mr. Pope did not give us a Paraphrafe, in his manner, of the Third, which treats the nobleft fubject not only of This, but perhaps of any fatiric Poet. To fupply this lofs, tho' in a very fmall degree, I have here inferted it, in the verfification of Dr. Parnell. It will at leaft ferve to fhew the force of Dr. Donne's genius, and of Mr. Pope's; by removing all that was ruftic and fhocking in the one, and not being able to reach a fingle grace of the other.
Ompaffion checks my fpleen, yet Scorn denies
Is not Religion (Heav'n-defcended dame)
Alas? Religion proper means prepares,
Oh! if thy temper fuch a fear can find, This fear were valour of the nobleft kind.
Dar'ft thou provoke, when rebel fouls afpire,