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I too transported by the mode commend;
And while
mean to praise Thee, must offend.
Thy verfe created like Thy Theme fublime,

In number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.


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THE measure is English Heroic Verfe without Rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rhyme being no necessary adjunct, or true ornament of Poem or good verfe; in longer works efpecially: but the invention of a barbarous age, to fet-off wretched matter and lame metre: grac'd indeed fince by the use of fome famous modern Poets carried away by cuftom; but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwife, (and for the most part worfe) than elfe they would have exprest them. Not without cause therefore fome (both Italian and Spanish) Poets of prime note have rejected Rhyme, both in longer and shorter works; as have also long fince

our beft English Tragedies; as a thing of itfelf, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true mufical delight: which confifts only in apt numbers, fit quantity of fyllables, and the fenfe variously drawn out from one verse into another: not in the jingling found of like endings; a fault avoided by the learned Antients both in Poetry, and all good Oratory. This neglect then of Rhyme fo little is to be taken for a defect; (though it may Seem So perhaps to vulgar readers) that it rather is to be efteem'd an example fet, (the firft in English,) of antient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem, from the troublefome and modern bondage of Rhyming.


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