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great Master, and able to teach Mr. Dennis. How few have excell'd! none, except in Variety.
But most by Numbers judge a Poet's Song.
While Expletives their feeble Aid do join ;- . -.
That like a wounded Snake draws its flow Length
Where Denham's Strength, and Waller's Sweetness
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain, [Main. Flies o'er th' unbending Corn, and skims along the
These, we believe, will be a fatisfactory Proof of his great Power as a Poet, if any Body yet doubts of it, or if any Lover and Reader of Englijh Poetry has not before seen those admir'd and very famous Lines.
Before we speak of Homer, the Dunciad, &c. we shall take Notice of some other Writings of our Poet:
To Mr. Jervas, with Mr. Frefnoy's Art of Painting.
On a Fan of the Author's Design, in which was painted the Story of Cephalus and Procris; with the Motto Aura vent.
On Silence, in Imitation of Lord Rochester.
Verses occafion'd by some of the Duke of Buck~ ingham's. , , ,
He wrote a most excellent Letter in Verse from Eloisa to Abelard; it is chiefly taken- from the French Letters between those two extraordinary Persons Mr. Bayle, in his Historical Dictionary, makes Mention of them: They flourish-'d in the twelfth Century, and were two of the most distinguished Persons of their Age in Learning and Beauty, but for no*thing more famous than for their unfortunate Passion. After a long Course of Calamities, they retired each to a several Convent, and consecrated the Remainder of their Days to Religion. It was many Years after this Separation that a Letter of Abelard's to a Friend (which contained the History of his Misfortunes) fell into the Hands of Eloisa; this awak?ning all her Tenderness, occasioned those celebrated Letters, which give so .lively a Description of the Struggles of Grace and Nature, Virtue and Passion.
There There is a Spirit of Tenderness and a Delicacy of Sentiments runs all through the Letter; but the prodigious Conflict, the War within, the Difficulty of making Love give up to religious Vows, and Impossibility of forgetting a first real Passion, shine above all the rest.
Ah wretch! believ'd the Spouse os God in vain, Confess'd within the Slave of Love and Man. Assist me Heav'n! but whence arose that Fray'r? Sprung it from Piety, or from Despair? Ev'n here where frozen Chastity retires, Love finds an Altar for forbidden Fires. I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought; I mourn the Lover, not lament the Fault; I view my Crime, but kindle at the View, Repent old Pleasures, and sollicit now: Now turn'd to Heav'n, I weep my past Offence, Now think of thee, and curse my Innocence, Of all Affliction taught a Lover yet, 'Tis sure the hardest Science to forget! How shall Hose the Sin, yet keep the Sense, And love th' Offender, yet detest th' Offence? How the dear Object from the Crime remove, Or how distinguish Penitence from Love? Unequal Task! a Passion to resign, For Hearts so touch'd, so pierc'd, so lost as mine. E'er such a Soul regains its peaceful State, How often must it love, how often hate! How often, Hope, Despair, Resent, Regret,"! Conceal, Disdain—do all Things but forget. But let Heav'n seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd,. Not touch'd, but rapt, notwaken'd, but inspir'd! Oh come! oh teach me Nature to subdue, Renounce my Love,- my Life, myself—and you.
F 4. Fill
Fill my fond Heart, with God alone, for he
How happy is the blameless Vestal's Lot?
Far other Dreams my erring Soul employ,
0 curst, dear Horrors of all conscious Night!
1 hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy Charms, And round thy Phantom glue my clasping Arms.
I wake—no morel hear, no more I view,
Alas no more! methinks we wandring go
What Scenes appear where e'er I turn my View,
While prostrate here, in humble Grief I lie, Kind, virtuous Drops just gath'ring in my Eye, While praying, trembling, in the Dust I roll, And dawning Grace is opening on my Soul. Come, if thou dar'st, all charming as thou art! Oppose thyself to Heav'n; dispute my Heart; Come, with one Glance of those deluding Eyes, Blot out each bright idea of the Skies. Take back thatGrace,thoseSorrows, and those Tears, Take back my fruitless Penitence and Pray'rs, Snatch me, just mounting, from the Blest above, Aflist the Fiends and tear me from my God!
No, fly me, fly me! sar as Pole from Pole; Rise /flfs between us! and whole Oceans roll!