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From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And fnatch a grace beyond the reach of art ;-
Which, without paffing thro' the judgment, gains
The heart, and all its end at once attains.
In profpects thus, fomne objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rife,
The fhapeless rock, or hanging precipice.
But tho' the Antients thus their rules invade
(As kings difpenfe with laws themfelves have
Moderns, beware! or if you must offend [made)
Against the precept, ne'er tranfgrefs its end;
Let it be feldom, and compell'd by need;
And have, at least, their precedent to plead.
The Critic elfe proceeds without remorse,
Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force.
I know there are, to whofe prefumptuous
thoughts

Those freer beauties, ev'n in them, seem faults.
Some figures monftrous and mif-shap'd appear,
Confider'd fingly, or beheld too near;
Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place,
Due distance reconciles to form and grace.
A prudent chief not always muft difplay
His pow'rs in equal ranks, and fair array,
But with th'occafion and the place comply,
Conceal his force; nay, feem fometimes to fly.
Those oft are stratagems which errors seem;
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.
Still green with bays each ancient Altar stands,
Above the reach of facrilegious hands;
Secure from Flames, from Envy's fiercer rage,
Destructive War, and all-involving Age.
See from each clime the learn'd their incenfe bring!
Hear, in all tongues confenting Pæans ring!
In praife fo just let ev'ry voice be join'd,
And fill the gen'ral chorus of mankind.
Hail, Bards triumphant! born in happier days;
Immortal heirs of universal praise !
Whofe honours with increase of ages grow,
As ftreams roll down, enlarging as they flow;
Nations unborn your mighty names fhall found,
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
O may fome fpark of your celeftial fire,
The laft the meaneft of your fons infpire [flights;
(That on weak wings, from far, purfues your
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain Wits a fcience little known;
T'admire fuperior sense, and doubt their own!
Of all the causes which confpire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and mifguide the mind,
What the weak head with ftrongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,
She gives in large recruits of needlefs Pride;
For as in bodies, thus in fouls, we find [wind:
What wants in blood and spirits, fwell'd with
Pride, where Wit fails, fteps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of fenfe.
If once right reafon drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with refiftless day.
Truft not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make ufe of ev'ry friend-and ev'ry foe.
A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or tafte not the Pierian fpring:

There fhallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely fobers us again.
Fir'd at first fight with what the Mufe imparts,
In fearlefs youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor fee the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprise
New diftant scenes of endless science rife!
So pleas'd at first, the tow'ring Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and feein to tread the sky;
Th'eternal fnows appear already past,

And the first clouds and mountains feem the last:
But, thofe attain'd, we tremble to furvey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way;
Th'increafing profpect tires our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps anfe!

A perfect judge will read each work of Wit With the fame spirit that its author writ : Survey the whole, nor fcek flight faults to find Where nature moves, and rapture warms the Nor lofe, for that malignant dull delight, [mind; The gen'rous pleafure to be charm'd with wit. But in fuch lays as neither ebb nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low,

That fhunning faults, one quiet tenor keep;
We cannot blame indeed-but we may fleep.
In Wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts
Is not th'exactnefs of peculiar parts:
'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call,
But the joint force and full refult of all.
Thus when we view fome well proportion'd dome
(The world's juft wonder, and ev'n thine, O
No fingle parts unequally furprise; [Rome!)
All comes united to th'admiring eyes; [pear;
No monftrous height, or breadth, or length ap-
The whole at once is bold and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultlefs piece to fee,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er fhall be.
In ev'ry work regard the writer's end,
Since none can compafs more than they intend;
And if the means be juft, the conduct true,
Applaufe, in fpite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, fometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, muft the lefs commit;
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know fome trifles is a praise.
Moft Critics, fond of fome fubfervient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one lov'd folly facrifice.

Once one a time, La Mancha's Knight, they fay, A certain Bard encount'ring on the way, Difcours'd in terms as juft, with looks as fage, As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian ftage; Concluding all were defp'rate fots and fools Who durft depart from Ariftotle's rules. Our Author, happy in a judge fo nice, [vice; Produc'd his play, and begg'd the Knight's adMade him obferve the fubject and the plot, The manners, paffions, unities; what not? All which, exact to rule, were brought about, Were but a Combat in the lifts left out. "What! leave the Combat out?"exclaims the Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite. [Knight;

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"Not fo, by heav'n (he anfwers in a rage) "Knights, 'fquires, and steeds, muft enter on the ftage."

So vaft a throng the stage can ne'er contain. "Then build a new, or act it in a plain."

Thus Critics of lefs judgment than caprice, Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice, Form fhort ideas; and offend in arts (As most in manners) by a love to parts.

Some to Conceit alone their tafte confine, And glitt'ring thoughts ftruck out at ev'ry line; Pleas'd with a work where nothing's juft or fit; One glaring Chaos and wild heap of wit. Poets, like painters, thus, unfkill'd to trace The naked nature and the living grace, With gold and jewels cover ev'ry part, And hide with ornaments their want of art. True wit is Nature to advantage drefs'd; What oft was thought, but ne'er fo well exprefs'd; Something, whofe truth convinc'd at fight we That gives us back the image of our mind. [find, As fhades more fweetly recommend the light, So modest plainnefs fets off sprightly wit. For works may have more wit than does 'em As bodies perith thro' excefs of blood. [good,

Others for language all their care exprefs, And value books, as women men, for drefs: Their praife is ftill.-The ftyle is excellent; The Senfe, they humbly take upon content. Words are like leaves; and where they moft abound,

}

Much fruit of fenfe beneath is rarely found.
Falde eloquence, like the prifimatic glafs,
Its gaudy colours fpreads on ev'ry place;
The face of Nature we no more furvey;
All glares alike, without diftinction gay:
But true Expreffion, like th’unchanging Sun,
Clears and improves whate'er it fhines upon;
It gilds all objects, but it alters none.
Expreffion is the drefs of thought, and still
Appears more decent as more fuitable;
A vile conceit in pompous words exprefs'd,
Is like a clown in regal purple drefs'd:
For diff'rent styles with diff'rent fubjects fort,
As fev'ral garbs with country, town, and court.
Some, by old words, to fame have made pretence;
Antients in phrafe, mere moderns in their fenfe:
Such labour'd nothings, in fo strange a style,
Amaze th'unlearn'd, and make the learned finile.
Unlucky, as Fungofo in the play,
Thefe fparks, with aukward vanity, display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday;
And but fo mimic ancient wits at beft,
As apes our grandfires, in their doublets dreft.
In words, as fathions, the fame rule will hold;
Alike fantaftic, if too new or old.

Be not the first by whom the new are try'd,
Nor yet the laft to lay the old aside.

}

But molt by nuinbers judge a poet's fong; And finooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong: In the bright Mufe, tho' thousand charms confpire, Her voice is all the fe tuneful fools admire; Who haunt Parnafas but to pleafe their car, Not mead their minds, as fome to church repair; Not for the doctrine, but the mufic there.

These equal fyllables alone require,
Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire;
While expletives their feeble aid do join;
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line :
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhymes;
Where'er you find "the cooling western breeze,"
In the next line, " it whispers thro' the trees:"
If crystal streams "with pleating murmurs creep,"
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with "fleep."
Then, at the laft and only couplet fraught
With fome unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needlefs Alexandrine ends the fong, [along.
That, like a wounded fnake, drags it flow length
Leave fuch to tune their own dull rhymes, and
know

What's roundly fimooth, or languishingly flow;
And praife the cafy vigour of a line [nefs join.
Where Denham's strength and Waller's fweet-
True cafe in writing comes from art, not chance,
As thofe move eafieft who have learn'd to dance,
'Tis not enough no harfhnefs gives offence,
The found must seem an echo to the fenfe:
Soft is the ftrain when zephyr gently blows,
And the fmooth ftream in fmoother numbers flow s
But when loud furges lafh the founding thore,
The hoarfe, rough verse should like the torrent
[throw,

roar.

When Ajax ftrives fome rock's vaft weight to
The line too labours, and the words move flow:
Not fo, when fwift Camilla fcours the plain,
Flies o'er th'unbending corn, and skims along
the main.

Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays furprife,
And bid alternate paffions fall and rife !
While, at cach change, the son of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with fparkling fury_glow,
Now fighs fteal out, and tears begin to flow:
Perfians and Grecks like turns of nature found,
And the world's victor stood fubdu'd by found!
The pow'r of inufic all our hearts allow,
And what Timotheus was is Dryden now.

Avoid extremes; and fhun the fault of fuch
Who ftill are pleas'd too little or too much.
At ev'ry trifle fcorn to take offence;
That always thews great pride, or little fenfe:
Thofe heads, as ftomachs, are not fure the beft,
Which naufeate all, and nothing can digeft.
Yet let not each gay turn thy rapture move;
For fools admire, but men of fenfe approve:
As things feem large which we thro' mifts defcry,
Dulness is ever apt to magnify.

Some foreign writers, fome our own defpife; The antients only, or the moderns prize. Thus wit, like faith, by each man is apply'd To one fmall fect, and all are damn'd belide. Meanly they feek the bleffing to confine, And force that fun but on a part to fhine, Which not alone the fouthern wit fublimes, But ripens fpirits in cold northern climes ; Which from the firft has fhone on ages past, Enlights the prefent, and fhall warm the last; Tho' each may feel encreafes and decays, And fee now clearer and now darker days;

Regard

Regard not then if wit be old or new,
But blame the fa!fe, and value ftill the true.
Some ne'er advance a judgment of their own,
But catch the fpreading notion of the town;
They reafon and conclude by precedent,
'And own ftale nonsense which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of authors names, not works, and then
Nor praife nor blame the writings, but the men.
Of all this fervile herd, the worst is he
That in proud dulnefs joins with quality:
A conftant critic at the great man's board,
To fetch and carry nonfenfe for my lord:
What woful ftuff this madrigal would be,
In fome ftarv'd hackney fonneteer, or me!
But let a lord once own the happy lines,
How the wit brightens! how the style refines!
Before his facred name flies ev'ry fault,
And each exalted ftanza teems with thought!
The vulgar thus thro' imitation err;
As oft the learn'd, by being fingular;
So much they scorn the crowd, that if the throng
By chance go right, they purposely go wrong:
So fchifmatics the plain believers quit,
And are but damn'd for having too much wit.
Some praife at morning what they blame at night;
But always think the last opinion right.
A Mufe by these is like a mistress us'd;
This hour fhe's idoliz'd, the next abus'd;
While their weak heads, like towns unfortify'd,
'Twixt fenfe and nonfenfe daily change their fide.
Afk them the caufe; they're wifer ftill, they say;
And ftill to-morrow's wifer than to-day.
We think our fathers fools, fo wife we grow;
Our wifer fons, no doubt, will think us fo.
Once school-divines this zealous ifle o'erspread;
Who knew moft fentences was deepest read :
Faith, Gofpel, all feem'd made to be difputed,
And none had sense enough to be confuted:
Scotifts and Thomifts now in peace remain
Amidft their kindred cobwebs in Duck-lanc.
If faith itself has diff'rent dresses worn,
What wonder modes in wit should take their turn!
Oft, leaving what is natural and fit,
The current folly proves the ready wit;
And authors think the reputation safe,
Which lives as long as fools are pleas'd to laugh.
Some valuing those of their own fide or mind,
Still make themselves the measure of mankind:
Fondly we think we honour merit then,
When we but praise ourselves in other men.
Parties in wit attend on those of state,
And public faction doubles private hate.
Pride, malice, folly, against Dryden rofe,
In various fhapes of parfons, critics, beaus;
But fenfe furviv'd when merry jefts were past;
For rifing merit will buoy up at last.
Might he return, and blefs once more our eyes,
New Blackmores and new Milbourns muft arife:
Nay, fhould great Homer lift his awful head,
Zoilus again would ftart up from the dead.
Envy will merit, as its fhade, purfue;
But like a fhadow, proves the fubftance true:
For envy'd wit, like Sol eclips'd, makes known
Th'oppofing body's groffnefs, not its own.

When first that fun too pow'rful beams difplays,
It draws up vapours which obfcure its rays;
But ev'n thofe clouds at last adorn its way,
Reflect new glories, and augment the day.

Be thou the first true merit to befriend;
His praife is loft who stays till all commend.
Short is the date, alas, of modern rhymes,
And 'tis but just to let them live betimes.
No longer now that golden age appears,
When patriarch-wits furviv'd a thousand years:
Now length of fame (our second life) is loft,
And bare threefcore is all ev'n that can boast;
Our fons their fathers failing language fee;
And fuch as Chaucer is fhall Dryden be.
So when the faithful pencil has defign'd
Some bright idea of the master's mind,
Where a new word leaps out at his command,
And ready Nature waits upon his hand;
When the ripe colours foften and unite,
And fweetly melt into juft fhade and light;
When mellowing years their full perfection give,
And each bold figure juft begins to live,
The treach'rous colours the fair art betray,
And all the bright creation fades away!

Unhappy wit, like moft miftaken things,' Atones not for that envy which it brings. In youth alone its empty praife we boaft; But foon the thort-liv'd vanity is loft: Like fome fair flow'r the carly fpring fupplies, That gaily blooms, but ev'n in blooming dies. What is this wit, which muft our cares employ? The owner's wife, that other men enjoy; Then most our trouble ftill when moft admir'd, And still the more we give, the more requir'd; Whose fame with pains we guard, but lofe with Sure fome to vex, but never all to pleafe; [cafe, 'Tis what the vicious fear, the virtuous fhun, By fools 'tis hated, and by knaves undone !

If wit fo much from ign'rance undergo, Ah let not learning too commence its foe! Of old, thofe met rewards, who could excel, And fuch were prais'd who but endeavour'd well: Tho' triumphs were to gen'rals only due, Crowns were referv'd to grace the foldiers too. Now, they who reach Parnaffus' lofty crown, Employ their pains to fpurn fome others down; And while felf-love each jealous writer rules, Contending wits become the fport of fools: But ftill the worft with moft regret commend, For each ill author is as bad a friend. To what bafe ends, and by what abject ways, Are mortals urg'd thro' facred luft of praife! Ah ne'er fo dire a thirft of glory boaft, Nor in the critic let the man be loft. Good-nature and good fenfe muft ever join; To err is human; to forgive, divine.

But if in noble minds fome dregs remain
Not yet purg'd off, of spleen and four difdain,
Difcharge that rage on more provoking crimes,
Nor fear a dearth in thefe flagitious times.
No pardon vile obfcenity thould find,

Tho' wit and art confpire to move your mind;
But dulnefs with obscenity must prove
As fhameful, fure, as impotence in love.

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In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and cafe, Sprung the rank weed, and thriv'd with large increase:

When love was all an eafy monarch's care;
Seldom at council, never in a war,

Jilts rul'd the ftate, and ftatefiman farces writ;
Nay wits had penfions, and young lords had wit;
The fair fat panting at a courtier's play,
And not a maik went unimprov'd away :
The modeft fan was lifted up no more;
And virgins fimil'd at what they blush'd before.
The following licence of a foreign reign
Did all the Dregs of bold Socinus drain;
Then unbelieving priefts reform'd the nation,
And taught more pleasant methods of falvation;
Where Heav'n's free fubjects might their rights
difpute,

Left God himfelf fhould feem too abfolute :
Pulpits their facred fatire learn'd to spare,
And vice admir'd to find a flatt'rer there!
Encourag'd thus, wit's Titans brav'd the fkies;
And the prefs groan'd with licens'd blafphemies.
Thefe monsters, critics! with your darts engage;
Here point your thunder, and exhauft your rage!
Yet fhun their fault who, fcandaloufly nice,
Will needs mistake an author into vice;
All feem infected that th'infected spy,
As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd eye.
Learn then what moral critics ought to show,
For 'tis but half a judge's task to know.
'Tis not enough, tafte, judgment, learning, join;
In all you speak, let truth and candour fhine :
That not alone what to your fenfe is due.
All may allow; but feek your friendship too.
Be filent always when you doubt your fenfe;
And fpeak, tho' fure, with feeming diffidence.
Some pofitive, perfifting fops we know,
Who if once wrong, will needs be always fo;
But you with pleature own your errors paft,
And make cach day a critique on the last.

'Tis not enough your counfel ftill be true; Blunt truths more mitchief than nice falfehoods do;

Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forgot. Without good-breeding, truth is difapprov'd; That only makes fuperior fenfe belov❜d.

Be niggards of advice on no pretence ! For the worst avarice is that of fenfe. With mean complacence ne'er betray your truft, Nor be fo civil as to prove unjust. Fear not the anger of the wife to raife; Thofe beft can bear reproof who merit praife. 'Twere well might critics ftill this freedomtake, But Appius redden, at each word you speak, And ftares tremendous, with a threat'ning eye, Like fome fierce tyrant in old tapeftry. Fear moft to tax an honorable fool, Whofe right it is, uncenfur'd, to be dull; Such, without wit, are poets when they pleafe, As without learning they can take degrees. Leave dang'rous truths to unfuccefsful fatires, And flattery to fulfome dedicators; [more Whom, when they praife, the world believes no Than when they promife to give fcribbling o'er.

'Tis beft fometimes your cenfure to restrain,
And charitably let the dull be vain :
Your filence there is better than your spite;
For who can rail fo long as they can write?
Still humming on, their drowzy course they keep,
And lafh'd fo long, like tops, are lafh'd afleep.
Falte fteps but help them to renew their race,
As, after ftumbling, jades will mend their pace,
What crowds of thefe, impenitently bold,
In founds and jingling fyllables grown old,
Still run on poets in a raging vein,

Ev'n to the dregs and fqueezings of the brain;
Strain out the laft dull dropping of their fente,
And rhyme with all the rage of impotence !

Such thamelefs bards we have; and yet t There are as mad abandon'd critics too. [true, The book ful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head, With his own tongue ftill edifies his ears, And always lift'ning to himself appears. All books he reads, and all he reads affails, From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales. With him, most authors steal their works, or buy, Garth did not write his own Difpenfary. Name a new play, and he's a Poet's friend, Nay, fhow'd his faults-but when would Poetr No place fo facred from fuch fops is barr'd, [mend Nor is Paul's church more fafe than Par. a church yard:

Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dead; For Fools ruth in where Angels fear to tread. Diftruftful fenfe with modeft caution fpeaks, 1 It still looks home, and thort excurfions makes; But rattling nonfenfe in full vollies breaks, And never shock'd, and never turn'd afide, Bursts out, refiftlefs, with a thund'ring tide.

But where's the man who counfel can befio",
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know!
Unbias'd or by favour or by spite;
Nor dully prepoffefs'd, nor blindly right;
Tho' learn'd, well-bred; and tho' well-bred,
fincere ;

Modeftly bold, and humanely fevere:
Who to a friend his faults can freely fhow
And gladly praise the merit of a foe?
Bleft with a tafte exact yet unconfin'd;
A knowledge both of books and human kind,
Gen'rous converfe; a foul exempt from pride;
And love to praife, with reafon on his fide?

Such once were Critics; fuch the happy few
Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
The mighty Stagyrite firft left the shore,
Spread all his fails, and durft the deeps explore.
He steer'd fecurely, and difcover'd far,
Led by the light of the Maonian Star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd, and free,
Still fond and proud of favage liberty,
Receiv'd his laws and ftood convinc'd; 'twas fit
Who conquer'd Nature should prefide o'er Wr.

Horace till charms with graceful negligence, And without method talks us into fente; Will, like a friend, familiarly convey The trueft notions in the eaficft way. He who, fupreme in judgment as in wit, Might boldly cenfure, as he boldly writ;

Yer

Yet judg'd with coolnefs, tho' he fung with fire;
His Precepts teach but what his works inspire.
Our Critics take a contrary extreme;
They judge with fury, but theywritewith phlegm:
Nor fuffers Horace more in wrong translations
By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations.
See Dionyfius Homer's thoughts refine,
And call new beauties forth from ev'ry line!
Fancy and art in gay Petronius please;
The scholar's learning, with the courtier's eafe.
In grave Quintillian's copious work, we find
The jufteft rules and cleareft method join'd:
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang'd in order, and difpos'd with grace;
But lefs to please the eye than arm the hand;
Still fit for ufe, and ready at command.

Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine infpire,
And blefs their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, who, zealous in his trust,
With warmth gives fentence, yet is always juft:
Whofe own example ftrengthens all his laws;
And is himself that great Sublime he draws.

Thus long fucceeding Critics juftly reign'd, Licence reprefs'd, and useful laws ordain'd. Learning and Rome alike in empire grew; And Arts ftill follow'd where her Eagles flew ; From the fame foes, at last, both felt their doom, And the fame age faw Learning fall, and Rome. With Tyranny then Superftition join'd; As that the body, this enflav'd the mind: Much was believ'd, but little understood, And to be dull was conftru'd to be good; A fecond deluge Learning thus o'er run, And the Monks finish'd what the Goths begun. At length Erafmus, that great injur'd name (The glory of the Priesthood, and the fhame!) Stem'd the wild torrent of a barb'rous age, And drove thofe holy Vandals off the stage.

But fee! each Mufe in Leo's golden days, Starts from her trance,and trims her wither'd bays; Rome's ancient Genius, o'er its ruins spread, Shakes off the dust, and rears his rev'rend head. Then Sculpture and her fifter-arts revive; Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live; With fweeter notes each rising Temple rung; A Raphael painted, and a Vida fung. Immortal Vida: on whofe honour'd brow The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow: Cremona now fhall ever boast thy name: As next in place to Mantua, next in fame

But foon by impious arms from Latium chac'd, Their ancient bounds the banish'd Mufes pafs'd; Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance, But critic-learning flourish'd most in France; The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys; And Boileau still in right of Horace fways. But we, brave Britons, foreign laws defpis'd, And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd; Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold, We ftill defy'd the Romans, as of old. Yet fome there were, among the founder few Of thofe who lefs prefum'd, and better knew, Who durft affert the jufter ancient caufe, And here reftor'd Wit's fundamental laws;

Such was the Mufe, whofe rules and practice tell,
"Nature's chief master-piece is writing well.”
Such was Rofcommou,not more learn'dthangood,
With manners gen'rous as his noble blood;
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And ev'ry author's merit, but his own. [friend,
Such late was Walth-the Mufe's judge and
Who justly knew to blame or to commend:
To failings mild, but zealous for defert ;
The clearest head, and the fincerest heart.
This humble praife, lamented fhade! receive;
This praife at least a grateful Mufe may give :
The Muse, whofe early voice you taught to fing,
Prefcrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing,
(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rife,
But in low numbers fhort excurfions tries: [view ;
Content, if hence th'unlearn'd their wants may
The learn'd reflect on what before they knew;
Careless of cenfure, nor too fond of fame;
Still pleas'd to praife, yet not afraid to blame :
Averfe alike to flatter or offend;

Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.

7. The Rape of the Lock. POPE. Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos; Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuiffe tuis.

CANTO I.

MART.

WHAT dire offence from am'rous causes fprings,

What mighty contefts rife from trivial things,
I fing-This verse to CARYL, Muse, is duc :
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchfafe to view;
Slight is the subject, but not fo the praise,
If She infpire, and He approve my lays.

Say what ftrange motive,Goddefs! could compel
A well-bred Lord t'affault a gentle Belle?
O fay what ftranger caufe, yet unexplor'd,
Could make a gentle Belle reject a Lord ?
In tasks fo bold, can little men engage,
And in foft bofoms dwells fuch mighty rage?

Sol thro' white curtains fhot a tim'rous ray, And ope'd thofe eyes that muft eclipfe the day: Now lap-dogs gave themselves the rouzing shake, And fleeplefs lovers, juft at twelve awake:

Thrice rung the bell, the flipper knock'd the ground,

And the prefs'd watch return'd a filver found.
Belinda ftill her downy pillow prest,
Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the baliny reft:
'Twas He had fummon'd to her filent bed
The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head,
A youth more glitt'ring than a birth-night beau
(That ev'n in flumber caus'd her check to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay;
And thus, in whispers, faid, or feem'd to say:
Fairest of mortals, thou diftinguish'd care
Of thoufands bright inhabitants of air!
If c'er one vifion touch thy infant thought,
Of all the Nurfe and all the Priest have taught ;
Of airy clves by moonlight shadows seen,
The filver token, and the circled green,

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