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What is loose love? a transient gust.
Spent in a sndden storm of lust;
A vapour fed from wild desire,
A wandering, self-consuming fire.
But Hymen's kinder flames umte,
And burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light.
Productive as the sun.
Oh source of every social tye
Vnited wish, and mutual joy !-
What various joys on one attend,
As son, as father, brother, husband, friend!
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
While thousand grateful thouglits arise;
Or meets his spouse's fonder eye;
Or views his smiling progeny;
What tender passions take their turns.
What home-felt raptures move!
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns*.
With reverence, hope, and love.
Hence, guilty joys, distastes, surmises;
Hence, false tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises,
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine:
Purest love*s unwasting treasure,
Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure;
Days of ease, and nights of pleasure,
Sacred Hymen! these are thine.
t)DE ON SOLITUDE.
Written when the Author was about twelve
TTAPPY the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound. Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread.
Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away. In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day: Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mix'd; sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please With meditation,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
The dying Christian to his Soul*
VITAL spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying 1
Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
SUter spirit, come away.
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight.
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death *
The world recedes; it disappears f
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly t
O grave f where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting I
ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
Written in the Tear 1700.
Introduction. That it is as great a fanlt to jndge ill, as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public, ver. 1- That a true taste is as rare to be found as a true genins, ver. 9 to 18. That most men are born with some taste, but spoiled by false education, ver. 10 to 25. The multitnde of critics, and canses of them, ver. 26 to 45. That we are to stndy our own taste, and know the limits of it, ver. 46 to 67. Nature the best guide of jndgement, ver. 68 to 87- Improved by art and rules, which are but methodiaed nature, ver. 88. Rules derived from the practice of ancient poets, ver. 88 to 110. That therefore the ancients are necessary to be stndied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, ver. 120 to 138. Of licences, and the use of them by the ancients, ver. 140 to 180. Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them, ver. 181, &c.
jrpIS hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in jndging ill;
But of the two, less dangerous is th' offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now one in verse makes many more in prose.
'Tis with our jndgements as our watches; noo*
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genins is but rare.
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light,
These born to jndge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well:
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true;
But are not critics to their jndgement too?
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find
Most have the seeds of jndgement in their mind:
Nature affords at least a glimmering light;
The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawn
But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd.
Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac'd,
So by false learning is good sense defac'd:
Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools,
And some made coxcombs nature meant but fools.
In search of wit these lose their common sense.
And then turn critics in their own defence:
Bach burns alike, who can, or cannot write.
Or with a rival's or an ennuch's spite.
All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain would be upon the langhing side.
If Maevins scribble in Apollo's spite,
There are who jndge still worse than he can write.
Some have at first for wits, then poets, past;
Turn'd critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last.
Some neither can for wits nor critics pass,
As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass.
Those half-learn'd witlings, numerous in our isle,
As half- form'd insects on the banks of Nile;
Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call,
Their generation's so equivocal:
To tell them would a hundred tongues requite,
Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire.