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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.

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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.






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,
Thy, ev'n thy fancy cannot reach its height.
In vain I strive to make the transport known,
No language can describe it but thy own.
Could't thou thy genius pour into my heart,
Thy copious fancy, thy engaging heart,
Thy vigorous thoughts, thy manly flow of fenfe,
Thy ftrong and glowing paint of eloquence;
Then fhould't thou well conceive that happiness,
Which I alone can feel, and you exprefs.

In scenes which thy invention sets to view,
Forgive me, friend, if I lofe fight of you;
I fee with how much spirit Homer thought,
With how much judgment cooler Virgil wrote;

In every line, in every word you speak,
I read the Roman, and confess the Greek;
Forgetting thee, my foul with rapture fwell'd,
Cries out,
"how much the ancient bards excell❜d!"
But when thy just translations introduce
To nearer converfe any Latian Mufe,
The feveral beauties you fo well exprefs,
I lose the Roman in the British drefs!
Sweetly deceiv'd, the ancients I contemn,
And with mistaken zeal to thee exclaim,
(By so much nature, fo much art betray'd)
"What vast improvements have our moderns made!”
How vain and unsuccessful seems the toil,
To raise fuch precious fruits in foreign foil :
They mourn, transplanted to another coaft,
Their beauties languid, and their flavour loft!
But fuch thy art, the ripening colours glow
As pure as those their native funs bestow;
Not an infipid beauty only yield,
But breathe the odours of Aufonia's field.
Such is the genuine flavour, it belies
Their ftranger foil, and unacquainted skies.
Vida no more the long oblivion fears,
Which hid his virtues through a length of years;
Ally'd to thee, he lives again; thy rhymes
Shall friendly hand him down to latest times ;
Shall do his injur'd reputation right,

While in thy work with such success unite
His ftrength of judgment, and his charms of speech,
That precepts please, and mufic seems to teach.


Left unimprov'd I feem to read thee o'er,
Th' unhallow'd rapture I indulge no more;
By thee inftructed, I the task forfake,
Nor for chafte love, the luft of verfe miftake;
Thy works that rais'd this frenzy in my soul,
Shall teach the giddy tumult to control :
Warm'd as I am with every Mufe's charms,
Since the coy virgins fly my eager arms,
* I'll quit the work, throw by my ftrong defire,
And from thy praise reluctantly retire.


See Mr. Pitt's tranflation of Vida,


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