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Y tranflation of Vida's Art of Poetry having been more favourably received than I had reafon to expect, has encouraged me to publish this little Mifcellany of Poems and select Translations. Í shall neither embarrass myfelf nor my reader with apologies concerning this collection; for whether it is a good or a bad one, all excufes are unneceffary in one cafe, and offered in vain in the other.
An author of a Mifcellany has a better chance of pleafing the world, than he who writes on a fingle fubject; and I have fometimes known a bad, or (which is ftill worse) an indifferent Poet, meet with tolerable fuccefs; which has been owing more to the variety of fubjects, than his happiness in treating them.
I am fenfible the men of wit and pleasure will be difgufted to find fo great a part of this collection confift of facred poetry; but I affure these gentlemen, whatever they shall be pleased to object, that I shall never be ashamed of employing my talents (fuch as they are) in the service of my Maker; that it would look indecent in one of my profeffion, not to spend as much time on the pfalms of David, as the hymns of Callimachus; and farther, that if those beautiful pieces of divine poetry had been written by Callimachus, or any heathen author, they might have poffibly vouchfafed them a reading even in my tranflation.
But I will not trefpafs further on my reader's patience in profe, fince I fhall have occafion enough for it, as well as for his good-nature, in the following verfes; concerning which I muft acquaint him, that fome of them were written feveral years fince, and that I have precisely observed the rule of our great master Horace→→→ Nonumque prematur in annum. But I may fay more justly than Mr. Prior faid of himself in the like case, that I have observed the Letter, more than the Spirit of the precept.
To MR. CHRISTOPHER PITT,
On his POEMS and TRANSLATIONS.
ORGIVE th' ambitious fondness of a friend, For fuch thy worth, 'tis glory to commend ; To thee, from judgment, fuch applaufe is due, I praise myself while I am praifing you; As he who bears the lighted torch, receives Himself affiftance from the light he gives.
So much you please, so vast is my delight,
In scenes which thy invention sets to view,
In every line, in every word you speak,
While in thy work with such success unite
Left unimprov'd I feem to read thee o'er,
See Mr. Pitt's tranflation of Vida,