« PreviousContinue »
And thou, his pious confort, here below,
EPITAPH ON DR. KEIL.
The late famous Aftronomer.
BENEATH this ftone the world's juft wonder lies,
Who, while on earth, had rang'd the spacious skies; Around the stars his active foul had flown, And feen their courfes finish'd ere his own: Now he enjoys those realms he could explore, And finds that heaven he knew fo well before. He through more worlds his victory pursued Than the brave Greek could wish to have fubdued; In triumph ran one vaft creation o'er,
Then ftop'd,-for Nature could afford no more.
HORACE, Book II. EP. XIX. IMITATED.
An EPISTLE to MR. ROBERT LOWTH *.
IS faid, dear Sir, no poets please the town, Who drink mere water, though from Helicon: For in cold blood they feldom boldly think; Their rhymes are more infipid than their drink. Not great Apollo could the train inspire, Till generous Bacchus help'd to fan the fire. Warm'd by two Gods at once, they drink and write, Rhyme all the day, and fuddle all the night. Homer, fays Horace, nods in many a place, But hints, he nodded oftner o'er the glass. Infpir'd with wine old Ennius fung and thought With the fame fpirit, that his heroes fought: And we from Johnson's tavern-laws divine, That bard was no great enemy to wine. "Twas from the bottle King deriv'd his wit, Drank till he could not talk, and then he writ. Let no coif'd ferjeant touch the facred juice, But leave it to the bards for better ufe: Let the grave judges too the glafs forbear, Who never fing and dance but once a year. This truth once known, our poets take the hint, Get drunk or mad, and then get into print: To raise their flames indulge the mellow fit, And lofe their fenfes in the search of wit:
Late Bishop of London.
And when with claret fir'd they take the pen,
Swear they can write, because they drink, like Ben. Such mimic Swift or Prior to their coft,
For in the rash attempt the fools are loft.
When once a genius breaks through common rules,
If Pope, the prince of poets, fick a-bed,
To MR. SPENCE.
Prefixed to the ESSAY on POPE'S ODYSSEY.
IS done-Reftor'd by thy immortal pen, The critic's noble name revives again; Once more that great, that injur'd name we see Shine forth alike in Addison and thee.
Like curs, our critics haunt the poet's feast, And feed on fcraps refus'd by every guest; From the old Thracian* dog they learn'd the way To fnarl in want, and grumble o'er their prey. As though they grudg'd themselves the joys they feel, Vex'd to be charm'd, and pleas'd against their will. Such their inverted tafte, that we expect
For faults their thanks, for beauties their neglect;
Like bold Longinus of immortal fame,
We stand all dazzled with excefs of day,
Zoilus, fo called by the ancients.