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If high exalted on the Throne of Wit,
Near me and Homer thou aspire to fit,
No more let meaner Satire dim the rays
That flow majestic from thy nobler Bays;
In all the flow'ry paths of Pindus ftray,
But fhun that thorny, that unpleasing way;
Nor, when each foft engaging Muse is thine,
Addrefs the least attractive of the Nine.
Of thee more worthy were the task to raise
A lasting Column to thy Country's Praise,
To fing the Land, which yet alone can boast
That Liberty corrupted Rome has loft;
Where Science in the arms of Peace is laid;
And plants her Palm beneath the Olive's fhade.
Such was the Theme for which my lyre I ftrung,
Such was the People whofe exploits I fung;
Brave, yet refin'd, for Arms and Arts renown'd,
With diff'rent bays by Mars and Phoebus crown'd,
Dauntless oppofers of Tyrannic Sway,
But pleas'd, a mild AUGUSTUS to obey."
If these commands fubmiffive thou receive, Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live;
VER. 60. Addrefs the leaft] It is to be wished that Pope had attended to this advice, and employed his great genius in the higher species of poetry. The noble and ingenious author of this ufeful admonition, who honoured me with his friendship, told me, that he frequently, in many conversations, preft it on Pope. He that could write thefe excellent lines, deferved more praise than Dr. Johnson thought proper to give him in the Lives of the Poets.
Envy to black Cocytus fhall retire,
And howl with Furies in tormenting fire;
Approving Time fhall confecrate thy Lays,
And join the Patriot's with the Poet's Praise.
ON HIS TRANSLATION OF HOMER's ILIAD.
Is true, what fam'd Pythagoras maintain'd, That fouls departed in new bodies reign'd: We must approve the doctrine, fince we fee The foul of god-like Homer breathe in thee. Old Ennius firft, then Virgil felt her fires; But now a British Poet fhe inspires.
To you, O Pope, the lineal right extends, you th' hereditary mufe defcends.
At a vast distance we of Homer heard,
Till you brought in, and natʼraliz'd the Bard;
Bade him our English rights and freedom claim,
His voice, his habit, and his air the same.
Now in the mighty Stranger we rejoice,
And Britain thanks thee, with a public voice.
See! too the Poet, a majestic shade,
Lifts up in awful pomp his laurel'd head,
To thank his Succeffor, who fets him free
From the vile hands of Hobbs and Ogilby;
Who vext his venerable Ashes more,
Than his ungrateful Greece, the living Bard before. While Homer's thoughts in thy bold lines are fhown,
Tho' worlds contend, we claim him for our own;
Our blooming boys proud Ilion's fate bewail;
Our lifping babes repeat the dreadful tale,
Ev'n in their flumbers they pursue the theme,
Start, and enjoy a fight in every dream.
By turns the Chief and Bard their fouls inflame,
And every little bofom beats for fame.
Thus fhall they learn (as future times will fee)
From Him to conquer, or to write from Thee.
In every hand we fee the glorious fong, And Homer is the Theme of every tongue. Parties in State poetic schemes employ, And Whig and Tory fide with Greece and Troy; Neglect their feuds and feem more zealous grown To pufh thofe countries Interefts, than their own. 36 Our busiest Politicians have forgot
How Sommers counfel'd, and how Marlbro' fought;
But o'er their fettling coffee gravely tell,
What Neftor fpoke, and how brave Hector fell. 40
Our fofteft Beaux and Coxcombs you infpire,
With Glacus' courage, and Achilles' fire.
Now they refent affronts which once they bore,
And draw thofe fwords that ne'er were drawn before;
Nay ev❜n our Belles inform'd how Homer writ, 45 Learn thence to criticize on modern Wit.
Let the mad Critics to their fide engage
The envy, pride, and dulness of the age:
In vain they curse, in vain they pine and mourn,
Back on themselves, their arrows will return;
Whoe'er would thy establish'd fame deface,
Are but immortaliz'd to their disgrace,
Live, and enjoy their fpite, and fhare that fate,
Which would, if Homer liv'd, on Homer wait.
And lo! his fecond labour claims thy care,
Ulyffes' toils, fucceed Achilles' war.
Hafte to the work; the ladies long to fee
The pious frauds of chafte Penelope.
Helen they long have seen, whose guilty charms
For ten whole years engag'd the world in Arms. 60
Then, as thy Fame shall see a length of days,
Some future Bard fhall thus record thy Praise;
"In those bleft times when fmiling Heav'n and
Had rais'd Britannia to her happiest state,
When wide around she saw the World fubmit,
And own her Sons fupreme in Arts and Wit;
Then Pope and Dryden brought in triumph home,
The Pride of Greece, and Ornament of Rome;
To the great task each bold translator came, 69
With Virgil's Judgement, and with Homer's Flame.
Here the pleas'd Mantuan fwan was taught to foar,
Where scarce the Roman eagles towr'd before:
And Greece no more was Homer's native earth,
Tho' her fev'n rival cities claim'd his birth;
On her fev'n cities, he look'd down with fcorn,
And own'd with pride, he was in Britain born."
VOLTAIRE AU ROI DE PRUSSE.
-Horace avec Boileau:
Vous y cherchiez le vrai, vous y goutez le beau;
Quelques traits échappés d'une utile morale,
Dans leurs piquans ecrits brillent par intervalle ;
Mais Pope approfondit ce qu'ils ont effleuré;
D'un efprit plus hardi, d'un pas plus affuré,
Il porta le flambeau dans l'abime de l'etre,
Et l'homme avec lui feul apprit à fe connoitre.
L'Art quelquefois frivole, et quelquefois divin,
L'Art des vers eft dans Pope utile au genre humain.