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If once, to blefs Pigmalion's longing arms,
The marble foften'd into living charms;
And warm with life the purple current ran
In circling ftreams through every flinty vein;
If, with his own creating hands display'd,
He hugg'd the ftatue, and embrac'd a maid;
And with the breathing image fir'd his heart,
The pride of nature, and the boast of art:
Hear my request, and crown my wondrous flame,
The fame its nature, be thy gift the fame ;
Give me the like unusual joys to prove,
And though irregular, indulge my love.
Delighted Venus heard the moving prayer,
And foon refolv'd to eafe the lover's care,
To fet Mifs Tabby off with every grace,
To drefs, and fit her for the youth's embrace.
Now the by gradual change her form forfook,
Firft her round face an oval figure took ;
The roguish dimples next his heart beguile,
And each grave whisker foften'd to a fmile;
Unufual ogles wanton'd in her eye,
Her folemn purring dwindled to a figh:
Sudden, a huge hoop-petticoat difplay'd,
A wide circumference! intrench'd the maid,
And for the tail in waving circles play'd.
Her fur, as destin'd still her charms to deck,
Made for her hands a muff, a tippet for her neck.
In the fine lady now her fhape was loft,
And by fuch ftrange degrees fhe grew a toast;
Was all for ombre now; and who but she,
To talk of modes and scandal o'er her tea;
To fettle every fashion of the sex,
And run through all the female politics;
To spend her time at toilet and baffet,
To play, to flaunt, to flutter, and coquet:
From a grave thinking moufer, fhe was grown
The gayeft flirt that coach'd it round the town.
But fee how often fome intruding woe,
Nips all our blooming prospects at a blow!
For as the youth his lovely confort led
To the dear pleasures of the nuptial bed,
Juft on that inftant from an inner house,
Into the chamber popt a heedless mouse.
Mifs Tabby faw, and brooking no delay,
Sprung from the sheets, and feiz'd the trembling prey?
Nor did the bride, in that ill-fated hour,
Reflect that all her moufing-days were o'er.
The youth, astonish'd, felt a new despair,
Ixion-like he grasp'd, and grasp'd but air;
He saw his vows and prayers in vain bestow'd,
And loft the jilting goddess in a cloud.
To MR. POPE, on his TRANSLATION of HOMER'S ILIAD.
IS true, what fam'd Pythagoras maintain'd,
That fouls departed in new bodies reign'd:
We mnft approve the doctrine, fince we see
The foul of godlike Homer breathe in thee.
Old Ennius first, then Virgil felt her fires;
But now a British Poet fhe infpires.
To you, O Pope, the lineal right extends,
To you th' hereditary Mufe defcends.
At a vast distance we of Homer heard,
Till you brought in, and naturaliz'd the Bard;
Bade him our English rights and freedom claim,
His voice, his habit, and his air the fame.
Now in the mighty ftranger we rejoice,
And Britain thanks thee with a public voice.
See! too the Poet, a majestic shade,
up in awful pomp
his laurel'd head,
To thank his fucceffor, who fets him free
From the vile hands of Hobbes and Ogilby;
Who vext his venerable afhes more,
Than his ungrateful Greece, the living Bard before.
While Homer's thoughts in thy bold lines are shown,
Though worlds contend, we claim him for our own;
Our blooming boys proud Ilion's fate bewail;
Our lifping babes repeat the dreadful tale,
Ev'n in their flumbers they pursue the theme,
Start, and enjoy a fight in every dream.
By turns the chief and bard their fouls inflame,
And every little bofom beats for fame.
Thus fhall they learn (as future times will fee)
From him to conquer, or to write from thee.
In every hand we see the glorious fong,
And Homer is the theme of every tongue.
Parties in ftate poetic schemes employ,
And Whig and Tory fide with Greece and Troy;
Neglect their feuds; and feem more zealous grown
To push those countries interests than their own.
Our bufieft politicians have forgot
How Somers counfel'd, and how Marlborough fought;
But o'er their fettling coffee gravely tell,
What Neftor spoke, and how brave Hector fell.
Our foftest beaux and coxcombs you inspire,
With Glaucus' courage, and Achilles' fire.
Now they refent affronts which once they bore,
And draw thofe fwords that ne'er were drawn before:
Nay, ev'n our belles, inform'd how Homer writ,
Learn thence to criticife on modern wit.
Let the mad criticks to their fide engage
The envy, pride, and dulness of the age:
In vain they curse, in vain they pine and mourn,
Back on themselves their arrows will return;
Whoe'er would thy establish'd fame deface,
Are but immortaliz'd to their disgrace.
Live, and enjoy their fpight, and share that fate,
Which would, if Homer liv'd, on Homer wait.
And lo! his fecond labour claims thy care,
Ulyffes' toils fucceed Achilles' war.
Hafte to the work; the ladies long to fee The pious frauds of chaste Penelope. Helen they long have seen, whofe guilty charms For ten whole years engag'd the world in arms. Then, as thy fame fhall fee a length of days, Some future Bard shall thus record thy praise : "In those blest times when smiling heaven and fate "Had rais'd Britannia to her happiest state, "When wide around, fhe faw the world fubmit, "And own her fons fupreme in arts and wit; "Then Pope and Dryden brought in triumph home "The pride of Greece, and ornament of Rome; "To the great task each bold tranflator came, "With Virgil's judgment, and with Homer's flame; "Here the pleas'd Mantuan fwan was taught to foar, "Where scarce the Roman eagles tower'd before: "And Greece no more was Homer's native earth, Though her feven rival cities claim'd his birth; "On her feven cities he look'd down with fcorn, "And own'd with pride he was in Britain born."
SPECIMEN of a TRANSLATION of the ODYSSEY *,
TH HE nurfe all wild with transport seem'd to swim;
Joy wing'd her feet, and lighten'd ev'ry limb;
Then, to the room with speed impatient borne,
Flew with glad tidings of her lord's return.
* Dr. Ridley was one of Mr. Spence's executors. Mr. Steevens affifted him in looking over the papers of the deceased; and tranfcribed this letter, &c. from the original.