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But yet, incited by some bold design,

Reject that vulgar errour (which appears That does her hopes beyond her fears incline, So fair) of making perfect characters; Prunes every feather, views herself with care, There's no such thing in nature, and you'll draw . At last, resolv'd, she cleaves the yielding air; A faultless monster, which the world ne'er saw. Away she flies, so strong, so high, so fast,

Some faults must be, that his misfortunes drew, She lessens to us, and is lost at last :

But such as may deserve compassion too.
So (though too weak for such a weighty thing) Besides the main design, compos'd with art,
The Muse inspires a sharper note to sing.

Fach moving scene must be a plot apart;
And why should truth offend, when only told Contrive cach little turn, mark every place,
To guide the ignorant, and warn the bold?

As painters first chalk out the future face: On, then, my Muse, adventurously engage Yet be not fondly your own slave for this, To give instructions that concern the Stage. But change hereafter what appears amiss. The unities of action, time, and place,

Think not so much where shining thoughts to Which, if observ'd, gives plays so great a grace,

Are, though but little practis'd, too well known As what a man would say in such a case:
To be taught here, where we pretend alone Neither in comedy will this suffice,
From nicer faults to purge the present age, The player too must be before your eyes;
Less obvious errours of the English stage.

And, though 'tis drudgery to stoop so low,
First, then, soliloquies had need be few,

To him


must your secret meaning show. Extremely short, and spoke in passion too.

Expose no single fop, but lay the load Our lovers talking to themselves, for want More equally, and spread the folly broad; Of others, make the pit their confidant;

Mere coxcombs are too obvious; oft we see Nor is the matter mended yet, if thus

A fool derided by as bad as he: They trust a friend, only to tell it us;

Hawks fly at nobler game; in this low way. Th' occasion should as naturally fall,

A very owl may prove a bird of prey. As when Bellario confesses all.

Small pocts thus will one poor fop devour, Figures of speech, which poets think so fine, But to collect, like bees, from every flower, (Art's needless vamish to make Nature shine) Ingredients to compose that precious juice, All are but paint upon a beauteous face,

Which serves the world for pleasure and for use, And in descriptions only claim a place:

In spite of faction this would favour get; But, to make rage declaim, and grief dis- But Falstaff' stands inimitable yet. course,

Another fault which, often may befall,
From lovers in despair fine things to force, Is, when the wit of some great poet shall
Must needs succeed; for who can choose but pity So overflow, that is, be none at all,
A dying hero, miserably witty?

That ev'n his fools speak sense, as if possest,
Bat, oh! the dialogues, where jest and mock And each by inspiration breaks his jest.
Is held up like a rest at shittle-cock;

If once the justness of each part be lost, Or else, like bells, eternally they chime,

Well may we laugh, but at the poet's cost.
They sigh in simile, and die in rhyme.

That silly thing men call sheer-wit avoid,
What things are these who would be poets thought, With which our age so nauseously is cloyd :
By nature not inspir'd, nor learning taught? Humour is all; wit should be only brought
Some wit they have, and therefore may deserve To turn agreeably some proper thought.
A better course than this, by which they starve: But since the poets we of late have known
But to write plays ! why, 'tis a bold pretence Shine in no dress so much as in their own,
To judgment, breeding, wit, and eloquence: The better by example to convince,
Nay, more; for they must look within, to find Cast but a view on this wrong side of sense.
Those secret turns of nature in the mind :

First, a soliloquy is calmly made;
Without this part, in rain would be the whole, Where every reason is exactly weighed,
And but a body all, without a soul.

Which, once perform'd, most opportunely comes All this united, yet but makes a part

Some hero frighted at the noise of drums; Of dialogue, that great and powerful art,

For her sweet sake, whom at first sight he loves, Now alınost lost, which the old Grecians knew, And all in metaphor his passion proves: From whom the Romans fainter copies drew, But some sad accident, though yet unknown, Scarce comprehended since, but by a few.

Parting this pair, to leave the swain alone; Plato and Lucian are the best remains

He strait grows jealous, though we know not why; Of all the wonders which this art contains; Then, to oblige his rival, needs will die : Yet to ourselves we justice must allow,

But first he makes a speech, wherein he tells Shakespeare and Fletcher are the wonders now: The absent nymph how much his fiame excels; Coasider them, and read them o'er and o'er, And yet bequeaths her generously now Go, see them play'd; then read thein as before; To that lov'd rival whoin he does not know ! For though in many things they grossly fail, Who strait appears; but who can Fate withstand ? Over our passions still they so prevail,

Too late, alas! to hold his hasty hand, That our own grief by theirs is rock'd asleep; That just has given himself the cruel stroke! The dull are forc'd to feel, the wise to weep. At which his very rival's heart is broke: Their beauties imitate, avoid their faults:

He, more to his new friend than mistress kind, Fint, on a plot employ thy careful thoughts; Most sadly mournis at being left behind, Turn it, with time, a thousand several ways; Of such a death prefers the pleasing charms This oft, alone, has given success to plays. To love, and living in a lady's arms. • Io Philaster, a play of Beaumont and Fletcher. ? The matchless character of Shakespeare.

What shamcful and what monstrous things are

these! And then they rail at those they cannot please; Conclude us only partial to the dead, And grudge the sign of old Ben Jonson's head; When the intrinsic value of the stage Can scarce be judg'd but by a following age : For dances, flutes, Italian songs, and rhyme, May keep up sinking nonsense for a tiine; But that must fail, which now so much o'er-rules, And sense no longer will submit to fools.

By painful steps, at last, we labour up
Parnassus' hill, on whose bright airy top
The Epic poets so divinely show,
And with just pride behold the rest below,
Heroic poems have a just pretence
To be the utmost stretch of human sense;
A work of such inestimable worth,
There are but two the world has yet brought forth !
Homer and Virgil! with what sacred awe,
Do those mere sounds the world's attention draw!
Just as a changeling seems below the rest
Of men, or rather is a two-legg'd beast;
So these gigantic souls, amaz’d, we find
As much above the rest of human kind !
Nature's whole strength united! endless fame,
And universal shouts attend their name!
Read Homer once, and you can read no more,
For all books elsc appear so mean, so poor,
Verse will seem prose; but still persist to read,
And Homer will be all the books you need.
Had Bossu never writ, the world had still,
Like Indians, view'd this wondrous piece of skill;
As something of divine the work admir'd;
Not hop'd to be instructed, but inspird:
But he, disclosing sacred mysteries,
Has shown where all the mighty magic lies;
Describ'd the seeds, and in what order sown,
That have to such a vast proportion grown.
Sure from some angel he the secret knew,
Who through this labyrinth has lent the clue.

But what, alas! avails it poor mankind,
To see this promis'd land, yet stay behind ?
The way is shown, but who has strength to go?
Who can all sciences profoundly know?
Whose fancy dies beyond weak Reason's sight,
And yet has judgmer to direct it right?
Whose just discernment, Virgil-like, is such,
Never to say too little, or too much?
Let such a man begin without delay;
But he must do beyond what I can say;
Must above Tasso's lofty flights prevail,
Succeed where Spenser, and ev'n Milton fail.

By partial love away 'tis blown,
Or the least prejudice can weigh it down;
Thus our high privilege becomes our snare.

In any nice and weighty cause,
How weak, at best, is Reason! yet the grave
Iinpose on that small judgment which we hare
In all those wits, whose names have spread so wide,

And ev'n the force of time defy'd,

Some failings yet may be descry'd.
Among the rest, with wonder be it told,

That Brutus is admir'd for Cæsar's death;
By which he yet survives in Fame's immortal

Brutus, ev'n he, of all the rest, [breathe
In whom we should that deed the most detest,

Is of inankind esteem'd the best.
As snow, descending from some lofty hill,
Is by its rolling course augmenting still,
So from illustrious authors down have rollid
Those great encomniumş he receird of old :

Republic orators will shex esteem,

And gild their eloquence with praise of him:
But Truth, unveil'd, like a bright sun appears,
To shine away this heap of seventeen hundred years,
In vain 'tis urg'd by an illustrious wit,
(To whom in all besides I willingly submit)

That Cæsar's life no pity could deserve
From one who kill'd himself, rather than serve,
Had Brutus chose rather bimself to slay,

Than any master to obey,

Happy for Rome had been that noble pride; The world had then remain'd in peace, and only

Brutus dy'd.
For he, whose soul disdains to owo
Subjection to a tyrant's frown,

And his own life would rather end,
Would sure much rather kill himself, than only

hurt his friend.
To his own sword in the Philippian field

Brutus indeed at last did yield:
But in those times self-killing was not rare,
And his proceeded only from despair :

He might have chosen else to live,
In hopes another Cæsar would forgive;
Then, for the good of Rome, he could once more
Conspire against a life which had spar'd his before,
Our country challenges our utmost care,
And in our thoughts deserves the tenderest share ;
Her to a thousand friends we should prefer,
Yet not betray them, though it be for her.
Hard jo his heart, whom no desert can move,

A mistress or a friend to love, Above whate'er he does besides enjoy ; But may he, for their sakes, his sire or sons de.


ODE ON BRUTUS. Tys said, that favourite, mankind, Was made the lord of all below; But yet the doubtful are concern’d to find, "Tis only one man tells another so.

And, for this great dominion here,

Which over other beasts we claim, Reason our best credential docs appear,

By which indeed we domincer, But how absurdly, we may see with shame.

Reason, that solemn trifle! light as air, Driven up and down by censure or applause;

For sacred justice, or for public good,
Scorn'd be our wealth, our honour, and our blood :
In such a cause, want is a happy state,
Ev'n low disgrace would be a glorious fate ;
And death itself, when noble fame survives,
More to be valued than a thousand lives.

But 'tis not surely of so fair renown
To spill another's blood, as to expose our own:

Of all that's ours we cannot give too much,
But what belongs to friendship, oh! 'tis sacrilege to

touch. Can we stand by unmov'd, and sce Our mother robb'd and ravishd? Can we be

Excus'd, if in her cause we never stir,

(Though here ev'n Nature's self still seem'd to be Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the outdone) ravisher ?

From such a friendship unprovok'd to fall Thus sings our þard with heat almost divine ; Is horrid, yet I wish that fact were all (call *Tis pity that his thought was not as strong as fine. Which does with too much cause ungrateful Brutus

Would it more justly did the case express,
Or that its beauty, and its grace were less.

In coolest blood he laid a long design
(Thus a nyruph sometimes we see,

Against his best and dearest friend;
Who so charming seems to be,

Did ev'n his foes in zeal excecd,
That, jealous of a soft surprise,

To spirit others up to work so black a deed;
We scarce durst trust our eager eyes)

Himself the centre where they all did join.
Such a fallacious ambush to escape,

Cæsar, meantime, fearless, and fond of him, It were but vain to plead a willing rape;

Was as industrious all the while A valiant son would be provok'd the more;

To give such ample marks of fond esteem,
A force we therefore must confess, but acted long to see with how much ease love can the wise be-

As made the gravest Romans smile
A marriage since did intervene, [before;
With all the solemn and the sacred scene:

Loud was the Hymenean song ;

He, whom thus Brutus doom'd to bleed, The violated dame' walk'd smilingly along,

Did, setting his own race aside,
And in the midst of the most sacred dance,

Nothing less for him provide,
As if enamour'd of his sight,

Than in the world's great empire to succeed :
Often she cast a kind admiring glance

Which we are bound in justice to allow,
On the bold struggier for delight;

Is all-sufficient proof to show

That Brutus did not strike for his own sake : Who afterwards appear'd so moderate and cool, As if for public good alone he sq desir'd to rule.

And if, alas ! he fail'd, 'twas only by mistake,
But, oh! that this were all which we can urge
Against a Roman of so great a soul!
And that fair truth permitted us to purge
His fact, of what appears so foul !

Friendship, that sacred and sublimest thing !
The noblest quality, and chiefest good,

(In this dull age scarce understood) {to sing. Inspires us with unusual warmth her injur'd rites

THE RAPTURE. Assist, ye angels! whose immortal bliss,

I yield, I yield, and can no longer stay Though more refind, chiefly consists in this. How plainly your bright thoughts to one another My eager thoughts, that force theinselves away.

Sure none inspir'd (whose heat transports them still sbine!

Above their reason, and beyond their will)
On! how ye all agree in harmony divine !
The race of mutual love with equal zeal ye run,

Can firm against the strong impulse remain ;

Censure itself were not so sharp a pain. A course, as far from any end, as when at first be

Let vulgar minds submit to vulgar sway;

What Ignorance shall think, or Malice say,
Ye saw, and smil'd upon this matchless pair,
Who still betwixt them did so many virtues share,

To meare trilles ; if the knowing few,

Who can see tunits, but can see beauties too, Some which belong to peace, and some to strife, Applaud that genius which themselves partake, Those of a calm, and of an active life, That all the excellence of human-kind

And spare the poet for the Muse's sake. Concurr'd to make of both but one united mind,

The Muse, who raises me from humble ground,

To view the vast and various worlu around; Which friendship did so fast and closely bind,

How fast I mount! in what a wondrous way Not the least cement could appear by which their souls were join'd.

I grow transported to this large survey!

I value Earth no more, and far below That tye which holds our mortal frame,

Methinks I see the busy pigmies go.
Which poor unknowing we a soul and body name,

My soul entranc'd is in a rapture brought
Seems not a composition more divine, (shine.
Of more abstruse, than all that does in friendship with fancy wing'd, I feel the purer air,

Above the common tracks of vulgar thought:
From mighty Cæsar and his boundless grace, And with contempt look down on human care
Though Brutus, once at least, his life receiv'd; Airy Ambition, ever soaring high,
Such obligations, thongh so high believ'd, Stands first expos'd to my censorious eye.
Are yet but slight in such a case.

Behold some toiling up a slippery hill,
Where friendship so possesses all the place, Where, though arriv'd, they must be toiling still :

There is no room for gratitude, since he, Some, with unsteadly feet, just fallen to ground, Who so obliges, is more pleas'd than his sav'd friend | Others at top, whose heads are turning round. can be.

To this high sphere it happens still that soine, Just in the midst of all this noble heat,

The most unfit, are forwardest to come; While their great hearts did both so kindly beat, Yet among these are princes forc'd to choose, That it amaz'd the lookers-on,

Or seek out such as would perhaps refuse.
And forc'd them to suspect a father and a son?; Favour too great is safely plac'd on none,

And soon becomes a dragon or a drone ,
I Rome.

Either remiss and negligent of all, ? Cesar was suspected to have begotten Brutus. Or else imperious and tyrannical.

The Muse inspires me now to look again, Hold, hold, impetuous Muse I would restrain And see a meaner sort of sordid men

Her over-eager heat, but all in vain ; Doating on little heaps of yellow dust;

Abandon'd to delights, she longs to rove; For that despising honour, ease, and lust.

I check'd her here, and now she flies to love ; Let other bards, expressing how it shines,

Shou's me some rural nymph, by shepherd chas'd, Describe with envy what the miser sinds;

Soon overtaken, and as soon embrac'd : Only as heaps of dirt it seems to ine,

The grass by her, as she by him, is pressid ; Where we such despicable vermin see,

For shame, my Muse, let fancy guess the rest: Who creep through filth a thousand crooked ways, At such a point fancy can never stay, Insensible of infamy or praise:

But flies beyond whatever you can say. Loaded with guilt, they still pursue their course,

Behold the silent shades, the amorous grove, Not ev'n restrain'd by love or friendship's force. The dear delights, the very act of Love.

Not to enlarge on such an obvious thought, This is his lowest sphere, his country scenc, Behold their folly, which transcends their fault! Where Love is humble, and his fare but mean; Alas! their cares and cautions only tend

Yet springing up without the help of art, To gain the means, and then to lose the end. Leaves a sincerer relish in the heart, Like heroes in romances, still in sight

More healthfully, though not so finely fed, For mistresses that yield them no delight.

And better thrives than where more nicely bred. This, of all vice, does most debase the mind, But 'tis in courts where most he makes a show, Gold is itself th' allay to human-kind.

And, high enthron'd, governs the world below; Oh, happy times! when no such thing as coin For though in histories learn'd ignorance E’er tempted friends to part, or foes to join ! Attributes all to cunning or to chance, Cattle or corn, among those harmless men, Love will in those disguises often smile, Was all their wealth, the gold and silver then : And knows the cause was kindness all the whila Corn was too bulky to corrupt a tribe,

What story, place, or person, cannot prove And bellowing herds wonld have betray'd the bribe. The boundless influence of mighty Love? Ev'n traffic now is intercourse of ill,

Where'er the Sun can vigorous heat inspire, And every wind brings a new mischief still ; Both sexes glow, and languish with desire. By trade we flourish in our leaves and fruit, The weary'd swain, fast in the arms of sleep, But avarice and excess devour the root.

Love can awake, and often sighing keep; Thus far the Muse unwillingly has been

And busy gown-men, by fond love disguis'd, Fix'd on the dull, less happy sorts of sin ;

Will leisure find to make themselves despis'd. But now, more pleas'd, she views the different ways The proudest kings submit to Beauty's sway; Of luxury, and all its charms surveys.

Beauty itself, a greater prince than they, Dear Luxury! thou soft, but sure deceit!

Lies sometimes languishing with all its pride Rise of the mean, and ruin of the great!

By a belov'd, though fickle lover's side. Thou sure presage of ill-approaching fates, I mean to slight the soft enchanting charm, The bane of empires, and the change of states ! But, oh! my head and heart are both too warm. Armies in vain resist thy mighty power ;

I doat on woinan-kind with all their faults, Not the worst conduct would confound them Love turns my satire into softest thoughts; more.

Of all that passion which our peace destroys Thus Rome herself, while o'er the world she flew, Instead of mischief, I describe the joys. And did by virtue all that world subdue,

But short will be his reign (I fear too short), Was by her own victorious arms oppress'd,

And present cares shall be my future sport. And catch'd infection from the conquer'd East; Then Love's bright torch put out, his arrows broke, Whence all those vices came, which soon devour Loose from kind chains, and from th' engaging yoke, The best foundations of renown and power.

To all fond thoughts I'll sing such counter-charms, But oh! what need have we abroad to roam,

The fair shall listen in their lovers arms. Who feel too much the sad effects at home,

Now the enthusiastic fit is spent, Of wild excess! which we so plainly find

I feel my weakness, and too late repent. Decays the body, and impairs the mind.

As they who walk in dreams oft climb too high But yet grave fops must not presume from hence For sense to follow with a waking eye ; To slight the sacred pleasures of the sense : And in such wild attempts are blindly bold, Our appetites are Nature's laws, and given Which afterwards they tremble to behold : Under the broad authentic seal of Heaven.

So I review these sallies of my pen, Let pedants wrangle, and let bigots fight,

And modest Reason is return'd again ; To put restraint on innocent delight,

My confidence I curse, my fate accuse,
But Heaven and Nature's always in the right; Scarce hold from censuring the sacred Muse.
They would not draw poor wretched mortals in, No wretched poet of the railing pit,
Or give desires that shall be doom'd for sin. No critic curs'd with the wrong side of wit,
Yet, that in height of harmless joy we may Is more severe from ignorance and spite,
Last to old age, and never lose a day,

Than I with judgment against all I write.
Amidst our pleasures we ourselves should spare,
And manage all with temperance and care.
The gods forbid but we sometimes may steep
Our joys in wine, and lull our cares asleep :
It raises Nature, ripens sceds of worth,

As moistening pictures calls the colours forth;
But if the varnish we too oft apply,

Such is the mode of these censorious days, Alas! like colours, we grow faint and die. The art is lost of knowing how to praise ;



THE MIRACLE... ON THE DEATH OF HENRY PURCELL. 97 Poets are envious now, and fools alone

For how could such a wretch succeed,
Adenire at wit, because themselves have none. But that, alas, it was decreed?
Yet whatsoe'er is by vain critics thought,
Praising is harder much than finding fault;
Ja homely pieces ev'n the Dutch excel,
Italiaos only can draw beauty well.
As strings, alike wound up, so equal prove,

That one resounding makes the other move;

Merit they hate, and wit they slight;
From such a cause our satires please so much,

They neither act, nor reason right,
We sympathize with each ill-natur'd touch;
And as the sharp infection spreads about,

And nothing mind but pence.
The reader's malice helps the writer out

Vaskilful they victorious are,

Conduct a kingdom without care, To blame, is easy; to commend, is bold;

A council without sense.
Yet, if the Muse inspires it, who can hold ?

So Moses once and Joshua,
To merit we are bound to give applause,
Content to suffer in so just a cause.

And that virago Debora,
While in dark ignorance we lay, afraid

Bestrid poor Israel :
Of fancies, ghosts, and every empty shade,

Like reverence pay to these! for who
Great Hobbes appeard, and by plain reason's light could ride a nation as they do,
Put such fantastic forins to shameful Bight.

Without a miracle?
Fond is their fear, who think men needs must be
To vice enslav'd, if from vain terrours free ;
The wise and good morality will guide,
And superstition all the world beside.

In other authors, though the thought be good,
'Tis not sometimes so easily understood;
That jewel oft' unpolish'd has remain'd;
Sonne words should be left out, and some explain'd; Joyful they few, singing and soaring through the

Good angels snatch'd him eagerly on high ; So that in search of sense, we either stray,

sky, Or else grow weary in so rough a way. But here sweet eloquence does always smile,

Teaching his new-fledg'd soul te fly; In such a choice, yet unaffected style,

While we, alas ! lamenting lie.

He went musing all along,
As must both knowledge, and delight impart,

Composing new their heavenly song:
The force of reason, with the flowers of art;
Clear as a beautiful transparent skin,

A while his skilful notes loud hallelujahs drown'd; Which never hides the blood, yet holds it in:

But soon they ceas'd their own, to catch his pleas. Like a delicious stream it ever ran,

ing sound. As smooth as woman, but as strong as man.

David himself improv'd the harmony, Bacon himself, whose universal wit

David, in sacred story so renown'd

No less for music, than for poetry ! Does admiration through the world beget,

Genius sublime in either art! Scarce more his age's ornament is thought,

Crown'd with applause surpassing all desert!
Or greater credit to his country brought.

A man just after God's own heart!
While Pame is young, too weak to fly away,
Malice pursues her, like some bird of prey;

If human cares are lawful to the blest,
But once on wing, then all the quarrels cease ;

Already settled in eternal rest;

Needs must he wish, that Purcell only might
Enry herself is glad to be at peace,

Have liv'd to set what he vouchsaf'd to write;
Gives over, weary'd with so high a flight,
Above her reach, and scarce within her sight.

For, sure, the noble thirst of fame

With the frail body never dies; Hobbes, to this happy pitch arriv'd at last,

But with the soul ascends the skies,
Might have look'd duwn with pride on dangers past:

From whence at first it came.
But such the frailty is of human-kind,
Men toil for Pame, which no man lives to find;

"Tis sure no little proof we have

That part of us survives the grave, Long ripening under ground this China ljes;

And in our fame below still bears a share: Fame bears no fruit, till the vain planter dies.

Why is the future else so mnch our care,
Thus Nature, tir'd with his unusual length

Ev'n in our latest moment of despair?
Of life, which put her to her utmost strength,
Such stock of wit unable to supply,

And death despis'd for fame by all the wise and

brave? To spare berself, was glad to let him die.

Oh, all ye blest harmonious choir !
Who Power Almighty only love, and only that ad-

Dook down with pity from your peaceful bower,

On this sad isle perplex'd,

And ever, ever vex'd
Hexe lives a man, who, by relation,

With anxious care of trifles, wealth and power. Depends upon predestination ;

In our rough minds due reverence infuse For which the learned and the wise

For sweet melodious sounds, and each harmonious His understanding much despise :

Muse. But I pronounce with loyal tongue.

Music exalts man's nature, and inspires Him in the right, them in the wrong ;

High elevated thoughts, or gentle, kind desires. VOL X


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