Abbildungen der Seite

What's long or fort, cach accent where to place,
And speak in public with some sort of grace.
I scarce can think him such a worthless thing,
Unless he praise fome Monster of a King; 210
Or Virtue, or Religion turn to sport,
To please a lewd, or unbelieving Court.
Unhappy Dryden ! -In all Charles's days,
Roscommon only boasts unspotted bays;
And in our own (excuse fome Courtly stains) 215
No whiter page than Addison remains.
He," from the taste obscene reclaims our youth,
And sets the Passions on the side of Truth,
Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art,

pours each human Virtue in the heart, 220
Let Ireland tell, how Wit upheld her cause,
Her Trade snpported, and supplied her Laws ;
And leave on Swift this grateful verfe ingravid,
“ The Rights a Court attack'd, a Poet fav'd."
Behold the hand that wrought a Nation's cure, 225
Stretch'd to Y relieve the Idiot and the Poor,
Proud Vice to brand, or injur'd Worth adorn,
And * stretch the Ray to Ages yet unborn,
Not but there are, who merit other palms;
Hopkins and Sternhold glad the heart with Psalms :

VER. 230. Sternbold.] One of the verfifiers of the old singing psalms. He was a Courtier, and Groom of the Robes to Hen. vill. and of the Bedchamber to Edward yi. Fuller, in his Church History, says he was esteemed an excellent Posta

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Caftis cum pueris ignara puella mariti
Disceret unde preces, vatem ni Musa dedisset ?

opem chorus, et praefentia numina sentit; Coeleftes implorat aquas, docta prece blandus; Avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit; Impetrat et pacem, et locupletem frugibus annum. Carmine Di superi placantur, carmine Manes.

e Agricolae prisci, fortes, parvoque beati, Condita post frumenta, levantes tempore fefto Corpus & ipsum animum fpe finis dura ferentem, Cum sociis operum pueris et conjuge fida, Tellurem porco, Silvanum lacte piabant, Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi, Fescennina per

hunc inventa licentia morem Versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit; Libertafque recurrentes accepta per annos Lusit amabiliter: 5 donec jam saevus apertam In rabiem coepit verti jocus, et per honeftas Ire domos impune minax, doluere cruento Dente laceffiti: fuit intactis quoque cura

VER. 241. Our rural Ancestors, etc.] This is almof literal; and thews, that the beauty and spirit, so much admired in chefe

The ? Boys and Girls whom charity maintains, 231
Implore your help in these pathetic ftrains :
How could Devotion touch the country pews,
Unless the Gods bestow'd a proper Muse? 234
Verse chears their leisure, Verse affifts their work,
Verse prays for Peace, or sings downPope and Turk,
The filenc'd Preacher yields to potent strain,
And feels that grace his pray’r besought in vain;
The blessing thrills thro' all the lab’ring throng,
And Heav'n is won by Violence of Song. 240

Our rural Ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was reft,
Indulg'd the day that hous'd their annual grain,
With feafts, and off rings, and a thankful strain:
The joy their wives, their sons, and servants share,
Ease of their toil, and part'ners of their care : 246
The laugh, the jest, attendants on the bowl,
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and open'd ev'ry foul:
With growing years the pleasing Licence grew,
And Taunts alternate innocently few. 250
But Times corrupt, and % Nature, ill-inclin'd,
Produc'd the point that left a fting behind;
Till friend with friend, and families at ftrife,
Triumphant Malice rag'd thro' private life.
Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th' alarm.
Appeal'd to Law, and Juftice lent her arm. 256

Poems, owe less to the liberty of imitating, than to the fuperior genius of the imitator,

Conditione super communi: quin etiam lex
Poenaque lata, malo quae nollet carmine quemquam
Describi. vertere modum, formidine fustis
Ad i bene dicendum, dele&tandumque redacti.

capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes
Intulit agresti Latio, fic horridus ille
Defluxit' numerus Saturnius, et grave virus
Munditiae pepalere: fed in longum tamen aevum
Manserunt, hodieque manent, m veftigia ruris,
Serus enim Graecis admovit acumina chartis;
Et poft " Punica bella quietus quaerere coepit,
Quid Sophocles et Thespis et Aeschylus utile fer.


VERg4259. Mof warp'd to Flattry's fide, etc.] These two lines (notwithstanding the reference) are an addition to the Original. They seemed necessary to compleat the History of the rise and progress of Wit; and, if attended to, will be seen to make much for the argument the Poet is upon, viz. the recommendation of Poetry to the protection of the Magistrate. And is, therefore, what Horace would have chosen to say, had he reflected on it.

VER. 263. We conquer'd France, etc.] The instance the Poet bere gives, to answer that in the Original, is not so happy. How. ever, it might be said with truth, that our Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the Provincial Poets, and produced Chaucer. I, only, wonder, when he had such an exam

[ocr errors]

At length, by wholsome • dread of ftatgtes bound,
The Poets learn'd to please, and not to wound:
Most warp'd to i Flatt'ry's fide; but some, more nice,
Presery'd the freedom, and forbore the vice. 260
Hence Satire rose, that just the medium hit,
And heals with morals what it hurts with Wit.
* We conquer'd France, but felt our Captive's

Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms;
Britain to soft refinements less a foe,

265 Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn'd to flow. Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join The varying verse, the full-resounding line, The long majestic March, and Energy divine. Tho' ftill some traces of our

* rustic vein

270 And splay-foot verse remaind, and will remain. Late, very late, correctness grew our care, When the tir'd Nation“ breath'd from civil war, Exacto Racine, and Corneille's noble fire, Show'd us that France had something to admire. 275

ple before him, of a Bard who fo greatly polished the rufticity of age, he did not use it to paraphrase the sense of

Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus

Munditiae pepulere: VER. 267. Waller was smooth ;] Mr. Waller, about this time with the Earl of Dorset. Mr. Godolphin, and others, translated the Pompey of Corneille; and the more correct French Poets began to be io reputation,

« ZurückWeiter »