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Or Virtue, or Religion turn to sport,
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 ?
e Agricolae prisci, fortes, parvoque beati,
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,
Our e rural Ancestors, with little blest,
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,
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
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.