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Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days.
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;
EPISTLE TO JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
Secretary of State in the Year 1720.
ASOUL as full of worth as void of pride,
ATI this thou wert; and being this before,
Know, kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Dor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed—a minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Ashani'd of any friend, not ev'n of me:
The patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of yon.
EPISTLE TO MR. JERVAS,
With Mr. Dryden's Translation of Fresnoy's Art of Painting.
This Epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.
FTIHIS verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came,
Home's pompous glories rising to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,
Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy.
With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn:
With thee repose where Tully once was laid.
Or seek some ruin's formidable shade:
While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew.
Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye;
A fading fresco here demands a sigh:
Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare,
Mau l) Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air,
Carracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,
Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed,
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage; Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. Beauty, frail flower that every season fears, Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years. Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise, And other beauties envy Worsley'a eyes; Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
Oh, lasting as those colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, Soft without weakness, without glaring gay; Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains; And finish'd more through happiness than pains! The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on every face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zenxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, And these be sung till GranviHe's Myra die; Alas! how little from the grave we claim! Thou bat preserv'st a face, and I a name.
EPISTLE TO MISS BLOUNT;
TU these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine,
And all the writer lives in every line;
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;
With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred:
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share;
His time, the muse, the witty, and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he play'd the trifle, life, away;
Till fate, scarce felt, his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev'n rival wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the- gay mourn' d who never mourn'd before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes:
The smiles and loves had died in Voiture's death.
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.
Let the strict life of graver mortal be A long, exact, and serious comedy; In every scene some moral let it teach. And, if it can, at once both please and preach. Let mine, an innocent gay farce appear, And, more diverting still than regular. Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace, Though not too strictly bound to time and place: Critics in wit, or life, are hard to please; Few write to those, and noue can live to these.
Too much your sex are by their forms coniin'd. Severe to all, but most to womankind; Custom, grown* blind with age, must be your guide; Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride; By nature yielding, stubborn but for fame; Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame. Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase, But sets up one, a greater, in their place: Well might you wish for change by those accurst, But the last tyrant ever proves the worst. Still in constraint your suffering sex remains, Or bound in formal, or in real chains: Whole years neglected, for some months ador'd, The fawning servant turns a hanghty lord. Ah, quit not the free innocence of life, For the dull glory of a virtnous wife;