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Let me for once presume t'instruct the times,
340 To know the Poet from the Man of rhymes: 'Tis he, who gives my breast a thousand pains, Can make me feel each Passion that he feigns; Inrage, compose, with more than magic Art, With Pity, and with Terror, tear my heart; 345 And snatch me, o'er the earth, or thro' the air, To Thebes, to Athens, when he will, and where.
P But not this part of the Poetic state Alone, deserves the favour of the Great: Think of those Authors, Sir, who would rely 350 More on a Reader's sense, than Gazer's eye. Or who shall wander where the Muses fing? Who climb their mountain, or who taste their spring? How shall we fill ? a Library with Wit, When Merlin's Cave is half unfurnish'd yet? 355
My Liege! why Writers little claim your thought, I guess; and, with their leave, will tell the fault: We Poets are (upon a Poet's word) Of all mankind, the creatures most absurd : The s season, when to come, and when to go, 360 To fing, or cease to fing, we never know;
Notes. VER. 354. a Library] Munus Apolline dignum. The P2. latine Library then building by Auguitus. P.
Ver. 355. Merlin's Cave] A Building in the Royal Garden of Richmond, where is a small, but choice Collection of Books. P.
I MITATIONS Book II.
a Gratus Alexandro regi IIagno fuit ille
And if we will recite nine hours in ten,
370 Expect a place, or pension from the Crown; Or dubb’d Hiftorians by express command, T'enroll your triumphs o’er the feas and land, Be call'd to Court to plan some work divine, As once for LOUIS, Boileau and Racine.
375 Yet y think, great Sir! (so many Virtues shown) Ah think, what Poet best may make them known? Or chuse at least fome Minister of Grace, Fit to bestow the ? Laureat's weighty place.
* Charles, to late times to be transmitted fair, 38 Affign'd his figure to Bernini's care; And great Nassau to Kneller's hand decreed To fix him graceful on the bounding Steed; So well in paint and stone they judg'd of merit: But Kings in Wit may want discerning Spirit. 385 The Hero William, and the Martyr Charles, One knighted Blackmore, and one pension'd Quarles; Which made old Ben, and furly Dennis swear, “ No Lord's anointed, but a Ruffian Bear.
[At neque dedecorant tua de fe judicia, atque Munera, quae multa dantis cum laude tulerunt, Dileiti tibi Virgilius Variusque poetae ;]
Nec magis expreflid vultus per ahenea signa, Quam per yatis opus mores animique virorum Clarorum apparent. nec sermones ego mallem Repentes per humum, quam res componere geftas, Terrarumque f fitus et flumina dicere, et arces Montibus impositas, et & barbara regna, tuisque Auspiciis totum confe&ta duella per orbem, Claustraque " custodem pacis cohibentia Janum, Et formidatam Parthis, te principe, Romam: Si quantum cuperem, poffem quoque. sed neque par
Carmen majestas recipit tua; nec meus audet Rem tentare pudor, quem vires ferre recufant.
Notes. VER. 405. And I'm not us’d to Panegyric frains ;] Archbishop Tillct fon hath said, " That satire and invective were " the easielt kind of wit, because almost any degree of it " will serve to abuse and find fault. For wit (says he) is
keen inftrument, and every one can cut and gash with
But to carve a beautiful image and polish it, re" quires great art and dexterity. To praile any thing
well, is an argument of much more wit than to abuse; a little wit, and a great deal of ill-nature, will furnish
a man for fatire, but the greatest initance of wit is to *" commend well. Thus far this candid Prelate. And I, in my turn, might as well say, that Satire was the most difficult, and Panegyric the easiest thing in nature; for
Not with such d majesty, such bold relief, 390 The Forms auguft, of King, or conqu’ring Chief, E'er swell’d on marble; as in verse have shin'd (In polith'd verse) the Manners and the Mind. Oh! could I mount on the Mæonian wing, Your e Arms, your Actions, your Repose to fing! 395 What' seas you travers'd, and what fields you fought! Your Country's Peace, how oft, how dearly bought! How & barb'rous rage subsided at your word, And Nations wonder'd while they dropp'd the sword ! How, when you nodded, o'er the land and deep, 400 * Peace stole her wing, and wrapt the world in sleep; 'Till earth's extremes your mediation own, And Afia's Tyrants tremble at your ThroneBut * Verse, alas ! your Majesty disdains; And I'm not us’d to Panegyric ftrains :
that any barber-surgeon can curl and shave, and give cofmetic-washes for the skin ; but it requires the abilities of an Anatomist to diffect and lay open the whole interior of the human frame. But the truth is, these fimilitudes prove nothing, but the good fancy, or the ill judgment of the user. The one is just as easy to do ill, and as difficult to do well as the other. In our Author's Elay on the Ckaratters of Men, the Encomium on Lord Cobham, and the satire on Lord Wharton, are the equal efforts of the fame great genius. There is one advantage indeed in Satire over Panegyric, which every body has taken notice of, that it is more readily received; but this does not shew that it is more easily written.