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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 some Courtly stains) 215
No whiter page than Addison remains.
He, w from the taste obscene reclaims our youth,
And sets the Paffions on the side of Truth,
Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art,
And pours each human Virtue in the heart. 220
Let Ireland tell, how Wit upheld her cause,
Her Trade supported, and supplied her Laws; .
And leave on Swift this grateful verse 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 a Psalms :
The a Boys and Girls whom charity maintains, 231
Implore your help in these pathetic strains :

Notes.. VER. 230. Sternhold.] One of the versifers of the old singing psalms. He was a Courtier, and. Groom of the Robes to Hen. Vill, and of the Bedchamber to Edward vi. Fuller, in his Church History, says he was eleemed an exceilent Poet.

Disceret unde o preces, vatem ni Musa dedisset ?
Poscit opem chorus, et praesentia numina sentit;
Coelestes implorat aquas, docta prece blandus;
Avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit;
Impetrat et pacem, et locupletem frugibus annum.
Carmine Dî superi placantur, carmine Manęs.

e Agricolae prisci, fortes, parvoque beati,
Condita poft frumenta, levantes tempore festo
Corpus et ipsum animum spe 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; Libertasque recurrentes accepta per annos Lusit amabiliter : 8 donec jam faevus apertam In rabiem coepit: verti jocus, et per honestas Ire domos impune minax. doluere cruento Dente lacessiti: fuit intactis quoque cura

Notes. VER. 241. Our rural Ancestors, exc.] This is almol literal; and shews, that the beauty and spirit, so much ad.

How could Devotion touch the country pews,
Unless the Gods bestow'd a proper Muse?
Verse chears their leisure, Verse assists their work, 235
Verse prays for peace, or sings down · Pope and Turk,
The falenc'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 a Heavn is won by Violence of Song. 240

Our e rural Ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulg’d the day that hous’d their annual grain,
With feasts, 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 soul:
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 sting behind;
Till friend with friend, and families at strife,
Triumphant Malice rag'd thro' private life.
Who felt the wrong, or fear’d it, took th' alarm, 255
Appeal’d to Law, and Justice lent her arm,

NOTES mired in these Poems, owe less to the liberty of imitating, than to the superior genius of the imitator,

Conditione super communi: A quin etiam lex

Poenaque lata, malo quae nollet carmine quemquam

Describi. vertere modum, formidine fuftis

Ad i bene dicendum, deleztandumque redacti.

.* Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes

Intulit agresti Latio. fic horridus ille

Defluxit ' numerus Saturnius, et grave virus

Munditiae pepulere: sed in longum tamen aevum

Manserunt, hodieque manent, m veftigia ruris.

Serus enim Graecis admovit acumina chartis ;

Et poft » Punica bella quietus quaerere coepit,

Notes. Ver. 259. Most warp'd 10 Flatt'ry's fide, etc.) Thefe 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 here gives, to answer that in the Original, is not so happy. However, it might be said with truth, that our

At length, by wholsome b dread of statutes bound,
The Poets learn’d to please, and not to wound:
Most warp'd to i Flatt'ry's fide; but fome, more nice,
Preserv’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

charms;
Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms;
Britain to foft 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' still some traces of our * rustic vein

Tuitic vein

27 And splay-foot verse, remain’d, and will remain. Late, very late, correctness grew our care, When the tir’d Nation" breath'd from civil war.

Notes. Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the provincial Poets, and produced Chaucer. Only I wonder, when he had such an example before him, of a Bard who so greatly polished the rufticity of his 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 Dorfet, Mr. Godolphin, and others, translated the Pompey of Corneille ; and the more correct French Poets began to be in reputation. P.

270

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